Dissatisfied with disappointing sales of healthy-eating Satisfries, most operators of Burger King (BK) restaurants in the USA and Canada have decided to discontinue them. Introduced last September with much fanfare as the standard fry in the Burger King Kid’s Meal, the crinkle-cut Satisfries feature 40% less fat and 30% fewer calories than other french fried potatoes on the market. A small box of them contains 270 calories, 11 grams of fat and 300 milligrams of sodium. The same size of regular french fries weighs in heavier at 340 calories, 15 grams of fat and 480 milligrams of sodium.
“Franchises in North America were given the option to continue offering Satisfries in markets where this game-changing product continues to perform well,” a spokesman from Miami, Florida-headquartered Burger King Worldwide Inc. said in an e-mailed statement. The result is that two-thirds of the QSRs outlets have opted to phase out the offering, which means that approximately 2,500 locations will remove it as a permanent menu item.
The fries, which are formulated to absorb less oil, have been sold to more than 100 million people, according to Burger King. Apparently, however, the product promoted as healthier to consume is not so healthy for the bottom line of operators.
Bob Goldin, executive vice president at Technomic, Inc., a Chicago, Illinois-headquartered foodservice market research house, offered an opinion as to why Satisfries did not satisfy the masses.
“French fries are an indulgence, just like ice cream,” he said. “You don’t eat them if you’re worried about your diet.”
Meanwhile, back by poplar demand for a limited time are Chicken Fries, which were originally launched in 2005. Since being removed from the menu in 2012, requests for reinstatement by customers reached a point where they could no longer be ignored, according the fast food company.
Chicken Fries are made with premium white meat chicken coated in a light crispy breading seasoned with savory spices and herbs. Shaped like french fries, they are popular for dipping into BK sauces, which range from BBQ to Honey Mustard, Ranch, Zesty, Buffalo and Sweet & Sour.
“Our fans have spoken, and we had to listen. On peak days we’ve seen one tweet every 40 seconds about Chicken Fries, many of them directly petitioning, begging, for us to bring them back. When you have guests who are this passionate about a product, you have to give them what they want,” said Eric Hirschhorn, the chief marketing officer in North America for Burger King Corporation.
Chicken Fries are now available at the recommended price of $2.89 with nine pieces per order at participating Burger King restaurants.