New York (CNN Business) – Few things in life are worse than a runny potato chip. Wendy’s says it has a solution.
The fast food chain has given its best-selling product a covid-era makeover: a fried potato It retains more heat and stays crisp longer compared to its predecessor. The fries upgrade, which will be available across the United States in mid-September, was created as more people shift their order preferences to self-service and home delivery due to the pandemic.
Although the appearance of the new fries will be familiar to Wendy’s fans, the taste will not be.
“You’re going to notice the difference as soon as you try them,” Wendy’s president Kurt Kane said in an exclusive interview with CNN Business. “The proof will be in the tasting.”
“What we have done is balance the cut of the potato chip and keep a bit of the skin to be able to boost the flavor,” he said. “We have used a batter system that allows us to keep them crisp, both when they are fresh out of the fryer and several minutes later.”
The batter system consists of immersing the potatoes in oil. Kane says the fries have gotten better because restaurants are using new fry baskets that are shorter, which helps the fries soak completely in the oil.
“These new baskets allow us to make sure that the potatoes are fried correctly all the time,” he added.
Wendy’s has spent the past four years researching how to improve its fries. About 20 different designs were considered before coming up with one that is “pretty consistent in shape and size to what we’ve had historically,” Kane said.
The last time Wendy’s changed its fries was on November 2010, when you added sea salt and used a natural cut “in shell”. It was the first time it had modified the French fries since its opening in 1969.
Ultimately, the idea for the fries improvement was “to put an end to the disappointing and inconsistent experiences of fries that other places still serve,” he said.
The first reactions are positive: Wendy’s cited a national taste test conducted by the company that showed that participants preferred the chain’s new fries to McDonald’s by a two-to-one margin. Kane said he is on “a good path to outperforming our old fries.”
As drive-thru sales and delivery service increased in the past year, cold and watery fries have become a problem for consumers.
“Many of the design features are designed to ensure that we can serve a crisp, hot potato chip every time, regardless of how Wendy’s is accessed,” he said. The fries will remain salty and will be served in a new packaging that “reinforces what makes potatoes special.”
Kane declined to comment on how much Wendy’s is costing the launch, but said the company is putting “a significant amount of weight” on its marketing. Wendy’s recently announced that it is investing an additional $ 10 million to advertise its expanding breakfast menu.
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