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Four Loko to Launch the Quibi of Getting Absolutely Shitfaced

Plus, Burger King’s questionable Halloween stunt, and other news to start the day

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Three bottles of Four Loko pregame shots in yellow, blue, and red colors. Photo: Four Loko

Four Loko releases new flavored shots because nothing matters

After a brief foray into the intersection of wellness and apocalypse with the release of a Four Loko hard seltzer last fall, the brand whose boozy energy drinks were once known as “blackout in a can” has returned to its dirtbag roots with a new line of flavored, bottled shots. Available in Sour Blue Razz, Lemonade, and Sour Peach varieties, the ready-to-drink shots clock in at 13.9 percent ABV (except in Tennessee, where it’s 10 percent). Their official name is “Pregame,” which tells you everything about the way these baby Four Lokos are meant to be consumed: hard, fast, on your buddy Mike’s stained living room futon surrounded by people who you know you will see fighting a bouncer by the end of the night.

In a time when some college students are getting busted for throwing parties despite the risk of COVID-19 transmission, one might be tempted to ask Four Loko, “Now, really?” But this is a company whose FAQ boasts the question, “Is Four Loko currently banned or illegal anywhere?” (The answer is no.) Its mission is proudly, unrelentingly one of getting people fucked up. For now, that will only be in the Southeast states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. Just hope that those shot drinkers are pregaming nothing more than a quiet night in.

And in other news…

  • Despite a huge number of permanent business closures during the pandemic so far, there are also a “significant number” of new restaurant openings, nearly in line with numbers from 2018 and 2019, according to Yelp data. [Forbes]
  • Which grocery stores fared the best from March through September? Local and regional chains saw the smallest decreases in business, while Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods suffered the most. Trader Joe’s eventually recovered, but Whole Foods still hasn’t quite rebounded. [The Takeout]
  • Months after holding a virtual summit in which McDonald’s CEO vowed to fight systemic racism and discrimination, the chain has filed a motion to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit filed by more than 50 Black former franchisees. The corporation called the suit “illogical” for its accusation that McDonald’s “steers” Black franchisees into low-income areas with high crime rates and underperforming sales. [NRN]
  • As part of its Halloween promotion, Burger King is giving away free Whoppers to fans who visit shuttered rival fast-food chain locations, which seems … questionable, in a pandemic in which thousands of eateries have closed and millions of people have lost their jobs. [CNN]
  • Chipotle’s digital ordering system now comes with a sustainability tracker for all ingredients. [Restaurant Business]
  • KFC’s fried chicken-scented fire logs are back. [MarketWatch]
  • Behind the Times’ decision to credit the original sources of recipes in its Cooking section bylines. [NYT]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]