Today’s Food Newsbits: Phelps Promotes Subway, Chipotle Wants Your Ad, Taking A McChance with McDonald’s

Olympic medalist Michael Phelps made his Subway debut late last week, joining previous spokesperson Jared Fogle in the prime time ad. The ad, which offered a humorous look at the differences between the two men, was developed to display how ‘everyone from world champions to everyday people can have their sandwiches made to their specific tastes at Subway.’

If you recall, Phelps lost his Kellogg’s endorsement earlier this year after being photographed at a private event with marijuana paraphernalia in hand. Tsk tsk, Michael.

Get your ad ideas ready! Mexican fast food joint Chipotle is offering one lucky winner $10,000 to create a catchy ad promoting their ‘My Chipotle’ initiatives. The first prize winner will receive $10,000, with their favorite burrito combination added to the Chipotle menu for a limited time. Second prize is $5,000 and a party at a local Chipotle restaurant for 50 people, with a third prize at burritos for a year!

The company, which offers naturally raised meat, rBGH-free dairy, and local and organic produce, is hoping the promotion will ’empower [our] most loyal fans as messengers for Chipotle.’ You can submit your ideas here.

Distant Lands, a Chicago-based coffee roaster, talks to the Chicago Tribune about their partnership with McDonald’s to provide product for the McCafe line. The smaller coffee company, with two US office locations and a roasting plant in Tyler, Texas, supplies coffee for a number of other companies, including Safeway, but was still surprised to get a phone call from the fast food giant.

“We had this debate, is this worth it?” [Distant Lands’ Russell] Kramer said. “There was skepticism internally.”

With sales of espresso-based coffee meeting or exceeding expectations in some markets, according to McDonald’s chief U.S. marketing officer Neil Golden,  it looks like it might just be.

~Jennifer Heigl

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