Burger King launches thicker fries amid competition

Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:57pm EST
 
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By Lisa Baertlein

(Reuters) - Burger King Corp, the second largest hamburger chain, has changed its french fry recipe for the first time since 1998 as competition from upstarts and traditional fast-food rivals mounts.

Burger King said it made the new fries thicker, reduced sodium and added a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer.

The fries, now a bit wider in diameter than a No. 2 pencil, will be available in its more than 7,000 North American Burger King restaurants by December 5. Prices remain the same.

"We're always trying to have the best menu possible. French fries are a big seller for us and we want to make sure we're always improving," said Leo Leon, vice president of innovation.

Leon said Burger King tested the new fries against other options.

"This, by far, was the winner," he added.

Burger King's move comes a little over a year after rival Wendy's Co introduced thinner "natural cut" fries that leave some skin and are sprinkled with sea salt.

McDonald's Corp's french fries often take the top spot in customer surveys, but independents such as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Smashburger and In-N-Out Burger have been dialing up the pressure.   Continued...