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Babybel Has Been Luring Gen Z Into Its Red Wax Empire With Spirally Cheese

McDonald’s has angered customers over milkshakes and straws, and more food news today

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Babybel’s latest cheese snack is for gen z age kids Babybel [Official Photo]

Roll up stringy cheese into a spiral and sell it

Remember Fruit Winders? Beloved soft cheese merchants Babybel have quietly been taking a winning early 2000s formula and turning it to cheese with ‘Spirolls,’ which have recently captivated the company’s U.S. audience despite being launched in the U.K. since January 2019. The long, spiralling string of cheese is similar, to, well, a cheese string, but lacks the pleasing ability to shred that turned so many children into wannabe hair models at lunchtimes on the playground. It’s received mixed reviews from supermarket customers, with the fun factor dovetailing with an alleged lack of flavour. The rationale behind all this? “A mission to save the whole family from the boring and bland at snack time,” deviating from the classic Babybel by removing the need to divvy up a small block of cheese, and thus, apparently, captivating Gen Z customers. The critical question remains: are deep-fried Babybel spirals just the stuff of dreams? [Fast Company]

And in other news...

  • University College London and the University of Leeds devoted academic time and money to asking whether or not 64 men who drink tea with sugar could drink tea without sugar by reducing the sugar over time. Surprise: they could! [Independent]
  • A petition asking McDonald’s to return to plastic straws because paper ones allegedly interrupt milkshake consumption has led to some interesting insights on product testing. When approached for comment, the fast food giant said, “our suppliers have made us paper straws that last at least 30 minutes in most, if not all liquids.” One entrepreneur has seen a gap in the market. [Eater]
  • A Radio 4 programme tonight will explore the realities of sexual harassment and gender inequality in the London restaurant industry. [BBC]
  • In case everyone wasn’t sure, fake meat is big business. Beyond Meat, whose burger features around London, will go public on Wall Street with a valuation of around $1.2 billion. Healthy scepticism around the benefits — physical and environmental — of these products is necessary. [Guardian]
  • Successful London restaurateur David Moore has said that he is parking any aspirations for new, permanent sites over high business rates. Moore has announced plans for a pub and a street food operation in recent weeks. [Big Hospitality]
  • Watch the brunch sketch in I Think You Should Leave — **those** Instagram captions will never look the same again. [Netflix]
  • Food recalls over salmonella and e. coli make dispiritingly regular news in the United States; now Tesco and Asda are recalling a small selection of cereal bars over salmonella fears. [Cambridge News]
  • London food salon Voices at the Table continues 22 May at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green: Eater contributor Riaz Phillips is among a strong lineup of readers. [Voices at the Table]
  • Instagram’s effect on the way people market and consume food is well-documented; but what is it doing to manufacturers of food colouring for people at home, as well as restaurants? [Food Manufacture]
  • A Yorkshire school will slaughter the pigs it has been rearing on site to help teach pupils about the structure of meat farming in the U.K.: as might be expected, this is proving divisive. [Metro]
  • Today’s version of The Dress: sardine bones, or human fingernails? [Mirror]