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  1. #1
    Eruption Ilovevh's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:55 PM
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    Default Wendy's Natural Cut Fries: Better Tasting, Yes. Natural, No

    When Wendy's (NYSE: WEN - News) created its Natural Cut Fries With Sea Salt, which it introduced last fall and is now promoting in new TV ads this week, the company's product development team found a way to leave the potato skins on, make the fries crispier and give them a much tastier flavor. What they didn't manage to do, however, is make the fries an actual all-natural product. That, says CMO Ken Calwell, would be too difficult given fast food customers' demands for items that are cheap and can be hoisted through a car window.

    "People are saying they want high integrity ingredients, things their grandmother would have used, that don't look like they came out of a chemistry lab," Calwell explained in an interview with BNET. "But they're also saying I've got a family to feed and can only afford to spend about $4 on my lunch, and I've only got about a minute or two to eat it."

    So instead of going the more expensive Five Guys route of making their fries fresh and in-house, Wendy's settled for "natural cut." What this means is that inside the processing plant, the potatoes skip the step of getting steamed at such a high temperature that the skins burst off. Wendy's spuds go straight to the high tech cutters where they're sliced.


    And Then the Not-So-Natural Part

    Then come the not-so-natural parts. The fries are sprayed with sodium acid pyrophosphate, a chemical that prevents them from turning brown from two baths in frying oil -- one at the factory and the other at the store. They're also dusted with dextrose, a sugar derived from corn, for similar purposes. For comparison, Five Guy's fries don't need sodium acid pyrophosphate or dextrose because they're only fried once and aren't frozen.

    And just like every other large fast food chain, Wendy's frying oil is dosed with dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone-based chemical that helps keep the vegetable oil from getting foamy after countless rounds of frying. (Five Guys doesn't use dimethylpolysiloxane either because their peanut frying oil is more stable than the standard soybean and canola varieties.) Wendy's Natural Cut fries are also frozen like everybody else's, even though it's a big point of distinction for Wendy's that their hamburgers aren't.

    Wendy's has also highlighted that it uses "100% Russet potatoes," but John Keeling of the National Potato Council says that this is not a selling point. "Virtually all processed French fries are Russets," he said in an email.

    Taste and Compare

    But the new fries do succeed in taste tests, even beating those at McDonald's, according to the company's research. Wendy's hired an outside firm to do a national taste test and the results showed that 56% of people taking the test chose Wendy's skin-on fries, whereas only 39% preferred McDonald's (4% had no preference). And Wendy's 6,600 stores, orders that include fries are up almost 10%.

    Nutritionally, the skins on the fries add 1 extra gram of fiber per serving for a total of 6 grams in a medium. Although the sodium content went up by 43% to 500 milligrams for a medium, an increase that no doubt helps with the taste factor.

    Calwell says that making Wendy's menu items more natural and more real is the company's "North Star."

    "We're taking it product line by product line to make our food closer to this real ingredients story. Over time, you'll see our ingredient labels getting shorter and more of those high integrity ingredients. It just takes time," he said.
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  2. #2
    Good Enough wham bam will rock's Avatar
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    06.26.17 @ 04:51 PM
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    I really enjoy the 'natural' cut fries at Wendy's, but I wasn't terribly surprised to when I read this.

    I will also say that, YES, Five Guys fries are really, really good and they serve you a buttload of them.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough kowski's Avatar
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    12.03.17 @ 11:54 AM
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    Default

    Yeah, they never called them natural, they just call them natural cut.

    And I agree, the Five Guys fries are really good!

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk BREW CREW's Avatar
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    08.27.17 @ 09:39 AM
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    If you like a ton of salt on your fries (or the taste of salt) Go to Wendy's. Buy yourself some water too! You will need it!
    Just go for it!

  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High
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    12.10.17 @ 08:06 AM
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    Default

    The Wendy's rep is right with regards to consumer demands, but it isn't their outright wish for it to be like this, society had advanced to an overworked machine that depends cheap garbage food for people who do not have enough leisure time.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk BREW CREW's Avatar
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    08.27.17 @ 09:39 AM
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    Too bad they call it an "advance" instead of a fall back.
    Just go for it!

  7. #7
    Good Enough SassyLassy's Avatar
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    04.27.16 @ 06:28 PM
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    I always love when Wendy's looks down on other fast food chains for being unhealthy, when they can rival any other chain in the bad health department. Oh they don't freeze the meat they use, OH MY GOD THEY'RE SO HEALTHY!

    I do like the new unnatural fries, though. Serious unnatural noms to be had.
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk BREW CREW's Avatar
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    08.27.17 @ 09:39 AM
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    So, chicks don't like frozen meat? Cool, I am all natural, naturally in a non-natural way!
    Just go for it!

  9. #9
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    12.10.17 @ 10:41 PM
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    <sigh>

    Proper french fried potatoes is a lost art......

    Wendys reasons for the chemical baths is a crock of shit.....if the potatoes have been par cooked properly in fryer oil, they will not turn brown, and you can freeze them for up to 3 months without any noticeable quality issues.....

    Oh and Kennebec potatoes are the proper frying potatoes, not russets.

    Fucking amateurs.......

  10. #10
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 09:42 AM
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    Default

    so...

    how do they keep their beef without freezing it?

  11. #11
    Eruption 5150's Avatar
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    12.02.17 @ 12:58 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by BREW CREW View Post
    If you like a ton of salt on your fries (or the taste of salt) Go to Wendy's. Buy yourself some water too! You will need it!
    Agreed. 100%. I loved the old fries because they didn't have the taste of pouring salt directly down your throat. I specifically don't order them anymore. I hope they bring the old ones back.
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  12. #12
    Good Enough SassyLassy's Avatar
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    04.27.16 @ 06:28 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by BREW CREW View Post
    So, chicks don't like frozen meat? Cool, I am all natural, naturally in a non-natural way!


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  13. #13
    Baluchitherium
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    12.06.17 @ 01:26 PM
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    Well, I've never said "Man I love the fries at Wendy's!", but I definitely like the old ones over the new ones. On the plus side, it's caused me to substitute a side salad instead.
    Posted from yo' mama's house.


  14. #14
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve mcqueen View Post
    <sigh>

    Proper french fried potatoes is a lost art......

    Wendys reasons for the chemical baths is a crock of shit.....if the potatoes have been par cooked properly in fryer oil, they will not turn brown, and you can freeze them for up to 3 months without any noticeable quality issues.....

    Oh and Kennebec potatoes are the proper frying potatoes, not russets.

    Fucking amateurs.......
    it's always bothered me why American's call them French Fries, they originally come from Belgium!..i suppose it's a bit like your version of football.
    i will add that i enjoy Wendys burgers whenever im in the U.S. much prefered over McDonalds I just wish they open some up over here in England.
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  15. #15
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default

    I like the new fries

 

 

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