retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Sacramento Bee this morning reports that the In-N-Out fast food burger chain, which has cultish devotees all over the country despite the fact that it currently operates only 328 stores in California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas and Oregon, has introduced its first new menu item in 15 years.

Hot chocolate. In two sizes. With an accompanying small package of mini marshmallows.

The last new item introduced by In-N-Out was lemonade.

The story says that “In-N-Out’s menu has thrived in its simplicity since opening in 1948. Burgers, fries and shakes – that’s about it, at least without diving into the secret menu.”

The Bee also notes that “the announcement comes just over a month after In-N-Out announced it would open a production center and up to 50 restaurants in Colorado … Could this hot item mean expansion to other cold-weather states is on the horizon?”
KC's View:
At the moment, it is 24 degrees in my Connecticut town. It feels like 12 degrees. (I know this, because I’ve been outside with my 14-year-old lab three times since 6 am.) The snow is falling hard. The wind is blowing. The weather, in a word, sucks.

But I’d be willing to venture outside for a double-double animal style, and if they have hot chocolate to go with it, I’d probably order it.

That's what I call brand equity.