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In 2010, Fast Food Chains Fought Over the Breakfast Market

Biggest Headline of 2010: Fast Food Goes to Breakfast War

There was never really a morning rush at the drive-through — that is, until nationwide chains woke up to the year 2010. Where did it all begin? Perhaps it was at the tail end of '09, when McDonald's introduced a breakthrough dollar menu just for breakfast.

Archrival Burger King jumped into the game by ditching BK Joe in favor of Seattle's Best Coffee, as well as airing a TV campaign for its new BK Breakfast Muffin — a menu item it admitted was a ripoff of the McD's Sausage McMuffin.

The chain didn't stop there, also piloting a high-end brunch menu, plugging its new breakfast as the largest menu expansion ever and encouraging coffee drinkers to try its coffee, free of charge.

Pretty soon, everyone else wanted in: Subway launched its pre-lunch offerings that they declared successful, Jamba Juice ran a "Better Star. Better Day" campaign, and Jack in the Box, Wendy's, and Taco Bell all planed breakfast expansion, too.

In the past dozen months, the big guns all discovered that calorie-conscious sandwiches, oatmeal, and coffee brought home the bacon. Who'll take the biggest piece of the quiche? That remains to be seen.

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