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Pizza Hut giving away 500,000 pizzas to celebrate class of 2020; Hello Sugar; KFC Chicken Sandwich; Necco Wafers

UPDATED: Mon., June 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has affected at least two high school hallmarks for the class of 2020: Senior proms have been shelved, and graduation ceremonies have gone the way of online or motorcades.

While high school seniors missed out on tuxedos, dresses and graduation gowns and caps, Pizza Hut is toasting this year’s graduates by giving away 500,000 pizzas in a partnership with the nation’s dairy farmers, CNN reports.

“Our brand has a long history of celebrating moments that matter – like graduations – and Pizza Hut takes pride in being a part of our customers’ big days,” Pizza Hut chief marketing officer George Felix said in a news release.

“So, it’s only natural that we’d be there for students and their families to help celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class of 2020.”

To receive a complementary medium one-topping pizza, graduates can go to pizzahut.com/gradparty and enter their Hut Rewards email to get a certificate for a free pizza deposited into their account. The class of 2020 promotion continues through Thursday.

Pizza Hut’s nod follows Krispy Kreme offering graduates one dozen Original Glazed doughnuts last month.

Hello Sugar turns 2

Speaking of doughnuts, Hello Sugar is celebrating its second anniversary in Kendall Yards all week (its actual birthday is today), and after customers voted on their favorite flavors from the last year, the maker of mini doughnuts has curated a Birthday Box for the celebration.

The six flavors are Pick-Me-Up Pink Starburst, Huckleberry Cheesecake, Double Fudge Brownie, Rice Krispie Treat, Birthday Cake and the best-named Wookie Cookie.

Hello Sugar is located at 419 N. Nettleton St. A second Hello Sugar outlet opened at 11205 E. Dishman Mica Road nearby TT’s Old Iron Brewery and BBQ in Spokane Valley last July.

KFC testing new sandwich

KFC, which is currently part of a national chicken sandwich kerfuffle with Popeyes, McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A, is testing a new aptly titled KFC Chicken Sandwich for $3.99 in Orlando, Florida, that features a larger fried chicken filet, more pickles and a new-and-improved bun.

Andrea Zahumensky, KFC’s chief marketing officer, told CNN the new sandwich “boasts an upgrade of every single component,” including a chicken filet that is 20% larger, thicker pickles and a bun to “hug it in the right way.” Fifteen Orlando outlets are selling the sandwich through June 21.

After the test, Zahumensky said the KFC Chicken Sandwich could expand to KFC’s estimated 4,000 U.S. locations. KFC currently offers the Crispy Colonel, a similar sandwich that debuted in April 2018. KFC also has begun pairing doughnuts with its fried chicken.

Popeyes was the first to introduce the popular sandwich in August and sold out in less than two weeks. It took several months before the fried chicken chain was able to return the sandwich to its menu. Based on revenue, competitor Chick-fil-A is the fifth-largest U.S. restaurant chain after McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway and Taco Bell.

Necco Wafers are back

Necco Wafers disappeared in 2018 after the factory that produced them in Revere, Massachusetts, closed, but the brand has been acquired from bankruptcy by Spangler Candy Co., which is bringing the longtime candy back to consumers.

The New England Confectionery Co. Wafers were created in 1847, and the disk-shaped candies – in the eight flavors of lime (green), lemon (yellow), clove (light purple), orange (orange), wintergreen (pink), licorice (dark gray), cinnamon (white) and chocolate (brown) – are wrapped and distributed in wax paper.

“Just when comfort food is experiencing a resurgence, Necco Wafers is back with that very kind of familiar, comfortable feeling we all seem to be craving,” Spangler Candy Co. CEO Kirk Vashaw told CNN. “We are delighted to bring Necco Wafers back into production and to share in their sweet return with fans old and new.”

The wax paper has remained the same, as has the formula for seven of the eight flavors. Only chocolate has been revised to add a richer cocoa flavor. The wafers are set to return to store shelves this month.

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