Wendy's offers $3 breakfast combo to appease budget-conscious consumers

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Wendy's is the latest chain to offer customers a discounted deal as even fast food — once a reliably cheap way to eat — has become too pricey for many Americans.

On Monday, Wendy's announced a new breakfast combo of potatoes plus an egg sandwich for $3, as other burger chains and other large retailers try to appeal to Americans' desire to save money by purchasing value goods.

The deal comes on the heels of McDonald's announcing a temporary $5 promo to try to win back customers turned off by the chain's previous menu price hikes.

Industrywide price increases have diminished low-income Americans' appetites for fast food, surveys show. A January poll by consulting firm Revenue Management Solutions found that about 25% of people who make under $50,000 were cutting back on fast food, citing its rising cost.

Businesses have taken note, too. "Consumers continue to be even more discriminating with every dollar that they spend as they face elevated prices in their day-to-day spending, which is putting pressure on the industry," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said on the company's first-quarter earnings call. "[I]t's imperative that we continue to keep affordability at the forefront for our customers."

Here is a list of restaurant chains and food retailers that have cut prices recently in response to waning consumer demand amid rising food prices.

Wendy's

The fast-food chain announced on Monday a new promo geared toward cash-strapped consumers seeking a better bang for their buck. Starting May 21, Wendy's customers can get a $3 breakfast combo deal that includes an egg and cheese English muffin sandwich with bacon or sausage, and small side of seasoned potatoes. Breakfast hours begin between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. local time, depending on the restaurant, according to the Wendy's website. Breakfast ends at 10:30 a.m. at the latest.

McDonald's

McDonald's last week said it's launching a temporary $5 value meal promotion. The limited-time offer begins June 25 and will last about a month, according to the fast-food chain. The deal will include a choice of McChicken sandwich, McDouble hamburger or four-piece chicken nuggets, plus small fries and a small drink.

Target

Retailer Target this week said it's slashing prices on 5,000 different items, as consumers feel pressure to maximize their budgets. Discounted goods include fruit, milk, meat, peanut butter, pet food, paper towels and more.

Giant Food

The supermarket chain is also responding to consumers' price sensitivity. In April, the grocer said it was lowering prices on its private label food staples, including bread, milk, bottled water, bacon, frozen vegetables and more.

Aldi

In May, grocer Aldi announced price cuts on more than 250 items, in a move it said would pass along $100 million in savings to customers. The chain announced lower prices on goods including frozen fruit, granola bars and meats.

Michaels

In April, arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels announced broad price cuts of up to 40% on more than 5,000 items, from paints and markers to T-shirts.

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