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Trending this week: Starbucks turns up the heat with latest drinks lineup of Spicy Lemonade Refreshers

This week on Nation's Restaurant News the top story was Panera sees traffic surge ahead of menu overhaul and possible IPO launch. As Panera Bread is in the midst of a major brand transformation, traffic for the St. Louis-based company is up 5.2% year-over-year, according to recent data from — it’s biggest traffic growth spurt in almost a year, since a 10.8% jump last March.

In other news, Starbucks’ newest dual lineup of beverages takes on the “swicy” trend (that’s “sweet and spicy”) that has been popular with younger generations as of late. On April 14 at Coachella, Starbucks unveiled the new Spicy Lemonade Refreshers in three flavors — pineapple, dragonfruit and strawberry — that are spiced with Starbucks’ proprietary chili powder blend. 

Also, with more states legalizing retail sales of marijuana, 420 Day restaurant promotions aren’t as edgy as they once were. But they continue to smolder. The term 420, of course, is cannabis culture slang for consumption — especially smoking — around the 4:20 pm. Cannabis-oriented celebrations take place each year on April 20.

See what else was trending on this week. 

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