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Wendy’s Rethinks Fries by Using Sea Salt

Wendy's is trying to grab a share of McDonald's french fries pie.

Commercials for fast food hamburgers are ubiquitous on television, but French fries don’t get nearly as much love. The New York Times reported that on Monday, however, Wendy’s will announce the details of a national marketing plan for its new recipe for French fries, the biggest overhaul of its fries in 41 years. “Fries,” said Ken Calwell, the chief marketing officer at Wendy’s, “is something we hadn’t been a leader in, in the past.”  For the last year, the company has been examining its product line for opportunities to promote food made with more natural ingredients, Mr. Calwell said. Wendy’s “new natural-cut fries with sea salt” use Russet Burbank potatoes, are thinner and crisper than the current fries, and will be unpeeled.

$25 Million is not chump change.

The idea is to provide an alternative to McDonalds, which has long been the leader in French fry sales. The Wendy’s campaign, which begins on Nov. 29, includes two television spots that will run on cable and network stations like TBS, VH1 and Bravo and during shows like “Conan” and “Lopez Tonight.” The cost of the campaign is estimated to be $25 million.

Another example of social media coming into play.

The digital campaign includes the use of the Wendy’s Web site, a Twitter account, a Facebook fan page and digital banner ads. The company’s You Tube channel will feature an ad for the fries and the background of the Wendy’s Twitter account page will also feature art for the fries and a “Fry for All” app that lets users select a box of fries that they can post on their Facebook page so they can “share” fries with their friends

About the Author: Ed Teixeira has over 35 years of franchise industry experience as a franchise executive and franchisee. He has served as a franchise executive in the c-store, manufacturing and home healthcare industries and has licensed franchises in Asia, Europe and South America. Ed operates FranchiseKnowHow  which provides information and advice to prospective and existing franchisees and franchisors. He publishes newsletters for the franchise community.

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