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10,000 marshmallow-only Lucky Charms boxes up for grabs in giveaway

Fans of the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal could end up with a whole box full of them.

General Mills is launching a contest in which it is giving away 10,000 boxes of 

Lucky Charms marshmallows.

>> Read more trending news

According to The Huffington Post, the contest is in response to customer demand after General Mills gave away 10 boxes of the cereal during a social media sweepstakes.

“In 2015, 10 lucky people won a box of “Marshmallow Only” Lucky Charms through a social media sweepstakes. But according to the brand’s many marshmallow maniacs, 10 boxes just wasn’t enough,” the General Mills blog on the news said.

“Fans of Lucky Charms are obsessed with our marshmallows,” Priscilla Zee, senior General Mills marketing manager, said. “We were overwhelmed with calls, e-mails, and tweets last year, asking for a box of our Lucky Charms marshmallows. So this year we wanted to give them even more opportunities to win.”

More information can be found at the General Mills website.

Chick-fil-A adds new sandwich, lemonade to summer menu

Chick-fil-A is offering its customers the savory tastes of a backyard barbecue with two new summer menu items.

>> Read more trending news

The Atlanta-based fast food chain introduced its new Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and Watermelon Mint Lemonade on Monday. The summer sandwich and beverage will be rolled out nationwide at all Chick-fil-A locations today through Aug. 19.

The barbecue sandwich includes up Chick-fil-A’s signature grilled chicken with bacon glazed in a brown sugar pepper blend and Colby Jack cheese on a Hawaiian-style bun, topped with a smokehouse barbecue sauce. The 500-calorie sandwich costs $5.59 before tax.

The new minty beverage, which Chick-fil-A suggests pairing with the Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich, adds watermelon and mint flavors to the chain’s beloved fresh-squeezed lemonade at 200 calories. A small drink costs $1.85 and is also available in a diet variety.

Chick-fil-A backs its new seasonal sandwich up with science, reporting more than 95 percent of U.S. consumers like barbecue.

“We know our customers love the flavors of our grilled menu, and we are excited to offer two items this season that will give them something new to try,” David Farmer, Chick-fil-A vice president of menu strategy and development, said in a news release.

The Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich “was incredibly popular in test markets. I hope our customers are as excited as I am to get this kind of high-quality sandwich at the drive-thru,” Farmer said. “We hope customers will enjoy the new ingredients and flavor combinations in our Smokehouse BBQ Bacon Sandwich and Watermelon Mint Lemonade all summer long.”

>> Four Atlanta restaurants are the 'best barbecue joints in America,' according to ranking

Chick-fil-A added another limited-time menu item in March when it introduced the Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, a spin on the Frosted Lemonade, which the company introduced in 2015. The Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, described by Chick-fil-A as a “seasonal twist on a customer favorite,” is a combination of Chick-fil-A’s signature lemonade, the vanilla Icedream and strawberry purée. It’s being offered nationwide through May 20.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report. 

Chicago inmates can now get pizza delivered to their cells

It may not be a Chicago-style deep-dish, but inmates at the Cook County Jail in Chicago can now order a pizza to be delivered to their cell.

>> Read more trending news

The new initiative is in place primarily for medium-security Division 11 inmates who can purchase them using their commissary money, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The pizzas, which will be made by fellow inmates, are being sold for between $5-$7 each.

Revenue generated from this project will allow the jail to train inmates as cooks and chefs in order to help rehabilitate them for life after their sentence, according to WGNTV. The pizzas have been available for around 3 weeks now and come in a variety including margarita pizza and “four seasons” pizza topped with mushroom, salami, olive and egg.

Specifically, the money is going toward the jail’s “Recipe for Change” program which is run by chef Bruno Abate, according the the Chicago Tribune. Abate teaches the inmates skills they can use when they enter the workforce, but he told the Tribune his real goal is to help raise their self-esteem and love for food.

Going forward, the jail hopes to start a food truck that sells meals made by the inmates as a way to further support Abate’s initiative to help raise their esteem. Cara Smith, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, told the Tribune this is still in the developmental stage as the pizzas have only recently begun to be integrated as well.

Since the trial period began, 1,536 men have had the option to spend their commissary cash on the pizzas made by Abate’s students who are now offering 6 different styles of pie. As of Monday, a little over 200 pizzas had been sold, generating the jail a minimum of $1,000 to help these inmates prepare for a life after jail.

Say cheese! Health risks from dairy, even full-fat, debunked in study

It’s time to break out some cheese and wine to celebrate a new study that debunks long-held rumors about dairy products.

The study, published in the “European Journal of Epidemiology,” states that consuming dairy products, including full-fat versions, “does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reported

>> Read more trending news

It was believed that dairy products had been harmful because of their high amount of saturated fats, The Guardian reported. 

However, an international team of experts argues the opposite and said those who cut dairy from their diet are doing more damage, according to The Guardian.

People, especially young women, who don’t drink enough milk are at risk of damaging their bone development and getting conditions such as osteoporosis, or “brittle bones,” according to The Guardian. 

Read more at The Guardian

Editor’s note: The research cited in this report was part-funded by three pro-dairy groups -- Global Dairy Platform, Dairy Research Institute and Dairy Australia -- but the groups had no influence over the research, according to The Guardian.

KFC debuts romance novel for Mother’s Day

When it comes to a love story, Colonel Sanders might just have a leg up on the competition.

Or a wing. Or even a thigh. 

>> Read more trending news

KFC is touting the Colonel as a dignified hero with his silver mane and distinctive goatee in its first foray into romantic literature. Sanders becomes “a handsome sailor with a mysterious past” in “Tender Wings of Desire,” USA Today reported.

The fast-food fried-chicken chain is offering the novella as a Mother’s Day promotion. The book can be downloaded for free from Amazon, and 100 Facebook users will be offered a hardback copy, USA Today reported.

“The only thing better than being swept away by the deliciousness of our Extra Crispy Chicken is being swept away by Harland Sanders himself,” said George Felix, KFC’s United States advertising director. “So this Mother’s Day, the bucket of chicken I get for my wife will come with a side of steamy romance novel.”

While KFC touts its chicken as finger-lickin’ good, the company is approaching its book tastefully. The book will mirror the prudish era of Victorian England, USA Today reported. Madeline Parker is a bored housewife who is trying to escape her loveless marriage at stately Parker Manor.

As one might expect, the Colonel delivers, sweeping Madeline off her feet. The chicken might be fried or even extra crispy, but KFC is hinting that the passion between Sanders and Madeline Parker will be steamy.

Teachers: Get free Chipotle this week

Chipotle is giving all educators buy-one/get-one-free burritos, bowls, salads and tacos Tuesday.

Just show up at any U.S. Chipotle from 3 p.m. to close with your school ID and order away.

>> Read more trending news

The offer’s open to teachers from preschool all the way through college.

The fine print: One free entree item per teacher customer. And it’s only valid for in-store orders.

Read more here.

Chipotle to debut first dessert

Chipotle plans to add a dessert item to its menu this year.

The Denver-based Mexican grill announced Tuesday it will begin testing a fried dough dessert next month, Business Insider reported

>> Read more trending news

Chipotle’s buñuelos, a traditional Mexican dessert, are fried tortillas sprinkled with honey, cinnamon and sugar. They’re to be served with caramel-apple dipping sauce.

“It’s simple to make and requires us to add just a few additional ingredients,” Chipotle CEO Steve Ells said, according to Yahoo. “They’re delicious and complement our menu nicely.”

It’s unclear which locations nationwide will offer the dessert first. 

Although Chipotle announced last year that it would be adding a dessert item to the menu, the buñuelo comes as a surprise, as many speculated the restaurant chain would debut churros as its first dessert.Chipotle is known for being slow to change its menu. According to Business Insider, the addition of buñuelos will be the company’s third major change in 20 years.

The most recent addition was chorizo, which Chipotle began offering in October. 

The company also announced that sales at restaurants that have been open at least a year rose 17.8 percent in the first quarter, and revenue increased 28.1 percent to $1.07 billion. Chipotle’s stock rose, and Ells said the increases indicates a “strong start” to the year.

>> Related: Here's why Chipotle doesn't sell queso

Rob Lowe debuts as KFC’s newest colonel Sunday

Meet the new KFC colonel — actor Rob Lowe.

>> Read more trending news

The actor has played many roles through the years — as Sam Seaborn in “The West Wing” and Chris Traeger in “Parks and Recreation,” for example — but the former Brat Pack member who also starred in “St. Elmo’s Fire” is branching out into fast food.

Lowe will portray Colonel Harland Sanders beginning Sunday, donning the colonel’s white suit, black string tie and trademark goatee — but he also will be wearing a space suit, USA Today reported.

Lowe, 53, will be promoting KFC’s Zinger chicken sandwich, the restaurant chain announced Friday.

“My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid,” Lowe told USA Today. “It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather.”

Among the other seven celebrities who have portrayed the founder of the Finger Lickin’ Good chicken are Darrell Hammond, Norm Macdonald, Jim Gaffigan and actors George Hamilton and Billy Zane.

Lowe, 53, has previously done commercials for DIRECTV.

The spicy Zinger sandwich will debut Monday in the United States after a 33-year stint overseas, KFC said. In a video promoting the sandwich, Lowe steps to the podium in his space suit and proclaims that “The time has come to explore beyond our known horizons.”

Lowe ends the video by asking, “Can you actually launch KFC’s world-famous Zinger chicken sandwich into space?”

His answer? “We certainly hope so. Our entire marketing campaign depends on it.

“But when we succeed, we will lick our fingers. We will lick our fingers good.”

Starbucks barista rants about unicorn Frappuccino drink

A man claiming to be a barista at a Starbucks had some pointed criticism about the company’s limited-edition unicorn Frappuccino drink.

>> Read more trending news 

Braden Burson of Monument, Colorado, posted a video on Twitter and begged customers to stop ordering the drink, USA Today reported. The video has since been deleted off Twitter, but is still gaining plenty of views on YouTube.

Burson, who said the new pink-and-blue drink “tastes like a Sweet Tart,” filmed the video in his car. “I need to rant just a little bit,” he said, before blasting the drink.

“Because it's been so popular online everyone is like ‘oh my gosh I need to try it when it comes out,’” he says in the video.

The drink, which was released Wednesday, is made with pink powder blended into cream Frappuccino with mango syrup and layered with a sour blue drizzle, USA Today reported.

“I have never made so many Frappuccinos in my entire life,” Burson said on the video. “My hands are completely sticky. I have unicorn crap all in my hair and on my nose. I have never been so stressed out in my entire life.”

After the rant, Burson backtracked. He told The Associated Press he did not think his rant would garner that much publicity, and he was not trying to “downgrade” the beverage.

One poster on Burson’s Facebook page asked, “You still got a job, buddy? Haha.”

“If this had been Apple, he would have been cooked over an open flame,” another poster said.

“It’s a great drink,” he told the AP. “But it’s difficult to make when there are like 20 fraps all at once.”

In a statement, Starbucks said the company will be reaching out to Burson “to talk about his experience and how to make it better.”

Burson apparently is not the only barista who is not enamored with the unicorn Frappuccino. “A perfect summarization of my day today, this Frappuccino is the devil,” a woman named Alexandria tweeted.

“I've had to make about 30 so far and I feel like I'm already disappearing from photos like in back to the future,” tweeted Tina Dee.

Author Rainn Wilson, who wrote “The Bassoon King” in 2015, tweeted that “I seriously want to punch in the tooth anyone who buys or drinks a unicorn Frappuccino.”

The drink will be available through April 23.

Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino changes colors, flavors with the twirl of a straw

Starbucks is calling a limited-time beverage that changes colors and flavors with a stir of the straw a "Unicorn Frappuccino."

>> Read more trending news

The chain says the drink was inspired by the trend of unicorn-themed food online and starts out purple with a sweet and fruity taste. It changes to pink and tart after it's stirred to mix in a blue drizzle. It will be available Wednesday through Sunday in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with a 12-ounce size containing 280 calories.

Earlier this month, Seattle-based Starbucks also introduced a "Pink Drink" made with coconut milk and topped with strawberries. The company said it had previously been a customized drink that enjoyed "fandom online."

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