McDonald’s test-markets new ‘Dollar Menu & More’

McDonald’s Corp. says a revamped version of its Dollar Menu that includes items priced as high as $5 could be launched nationally this year.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain said it has been testing versions of its famous value menu that’s called “Dollar Menu & More” in five markets across the country. The company noted that no official changes have yet been made to its current Dollar Menu.

The change would come after McDonald’s unsuccessful attempt last year to get customers to switch from the Dollar Menu to a pricier “Extra Value Menu,” which features items costing closer to $2. But after sales flagged, the company went back to aggressively touting its Dollar Menu in TV ads.

U.S. trade deficit widens from June’s four-year low

The U.S. trade deficit widened in July from a four-year low in June. American consumers bought more foreign cars and other imported goods, while U.S. companies exported fewer long-lasting manufactured goods.

The rise in imports points to resilient consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of economic activity.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the trade gap rose 13 percent to $39.1 billion. That’s up from June’s deficit of $34.5 billion, which was the smallest since late 2009.

P&G plans to introduce cheaper version of Tide

Procter & Gamble will introduce a lower-priced version of Tide in 2014, a liquid detergent called “Tide Simply Clean and Fresh” for shoppers on a budget.

P&G, the world’s largest consumer product maker, is known for its premium products like Tide and Bounty that cost more than competitors but are perceived by customers to be of higher quality.

But as P&G expands in emerging markets, the company has been working to offer more goods at both the low and high end of the price spectrum.

Campbell’s will offer K-cup soup packages

Campbell Soup Co. says it will start offering K-cup soup packs that can be made with Green Mountain’s popular single-serve coffee machines. The soups include a K-cup pack of broth that is brewed over a packet of dry pasta and vegetables.

Green Mountain said its machines are designed so that the system is cleansed by the brewing process, meaning there wouldn’t be a danger of the soup and coffee flavors mixing.

– From news service reports