In the latest twist towards more “real” food, Wendy’s is rolling out new french fries. The fast food giant is introducing fries that are thinner, smaller, and crispier than the current offerings. The revamped sides are made with Russet potatoes, with the skin left on, and topped with sea salt. The fries were transformed to appeal to a more diverse and upscale palate.
“We want every ingredient to be a simple ingredient, to be one you can pronounce and one your grandmother would recognize in her pantry,” said Ken Calwell, Wendy’s chief marketing officer. “People want foods that are less processed,” he continued, “and by leaving the skins on, it reminds people where the fries come from.” Testing done by the company indicates that many consumers feel that fries are processed foods. In addition, there is a common misconception that sea salt is healthier.
Changing the appearance of the fries doesn’t make them any healthier, however. The new fries have a higher sodium count – a medium size fry will go from 350 milligrams to 500 milligrams- and the calorie count increases 410 to 420.
Natural is an easy spin word used to make consumers feel like the food they are eating is healthier, when, just like with Wendy’s new natural-cut fries, it can actually be worse for you.