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Photo: Chad Hurst/Getty Images for Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc.

A hearty list of fast food companies are tailoring their menus with lamb options to rope in Millennial and Generation Z customers with more adventurous tastes.

The big picture: On its face, the marketing ploy doesn't make sense — lamb has never made it big for Americans; only half of Americans have ever even tried it, and lamb consumption in the U.S. has been declining, per Bloomberg.

The list: Arby's, Potbelly, Darden Restaurants Inc.’s Yard House brewery, Romacorp Inc., and Black Angus Steakhouse, writes Bloomberg.

Between the lines: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS), the American Lamb Board, and the American Sheep Industry Association (which aim to build demand and profits for the sheep industry, respectively), have been working over the last 15 years collectively to return the industry to profitability.

  • That includes running cooking workshops, farm and ranch tours, restaurant promotions, coordinating with chefs to promote lamb dishes, working on evening out seasonality differences in lamb production and market volatility, and promoting U.S. lamb (as opposed to New Zealand or Australian lamb), the Executive Director of the board, Megan Wortman, tells Axios.
  • "We know it's not a hard sell once people can taste the great flavor," she says.

The surprise: Wortman says that she "never" expected to see a lamb comeback.

  • "There’s an intimidation factor because we’re more expensive," Wortman notes. One of the biggest hurdles she sees is that people are getting comfortable eating lamb out, but not at home.
  • The age gap: That's especially a factor for millennials. According to a 2017 U.S. Department of Agriculture study, millennials "have a stronger preference for eating out" than older generations, making their outsize influence on the fast food industry even stronger.
  • Millennials are the largest generation. They, along with Gen Z-ers, will drive market decisions for the fast food industry.

Be smart: Even though lamb is making a splash on fast food menus, "that doesn’t necessarily translate into sales," Wortman said. "We just wish Arby’s would call it lamb instead of gyros. Our biggest barrier without a doubt is just sheer lack of awareness and experience."

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

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Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

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Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”