Jul 12, 2010

Introducing Food With 'Real' Ingredients

Hey gang, Wendy's is happy to be introducing a line of salads such as Apple Pecan Chicken and BLT Cobb as the fast-food chain changes its sales pitch to focus on "real" ingredients to appeal to foodies.

The line of four salads is available nationwide starting Friday. The salads retail for $5.99, about $1 more than the previous Garden Sensations line. The chain introduced those in 2002 and has long been considered an innovator in salads. It was the first fast-food chain to market with a salad bar in the 1980s. Followed almost a month later with the Sneeze Guard.

The salad line is part of Wendy's effort to target people who care about ingredients and what they eat. I'm one of those people. The company teamed up with salad dressing maker Marzetti's to create new flavors such as avocado ranch and pomegranate vinaigrette. It's using multiple types of greens beyond iceberg lettuce, such as spinach, red and green chard, and red and green romaine. Wendy's signature chili is an ingredient in the Baja salad, which features Hass avocados and pico de gallo. Innovation in fast food is to put chili that isn't selling in July on a salad, and charging a buck more for it. They'll win an award for that.

They're getting into the Breakfast Space as well and plan on featuring "real" ingredients, too, such as applewood smoked bacon and fresh eggs. No word on what, exactly, is on that breakfast menu, but CEO Roland Smith said earlier this year the company expects breakfast items to be grilled egg sandwiches, oatmeal bars, roasted potatoes and fresh fruit.

He said the company will take its time getting into the growing breakfast segment because it wants to approach the business correctly.

"Our belief is even though it's tougher and takes longer, it's worth it," he said. "We want a breakfast where people go, 'Wow, here are real cracked eggs.'"

Wow, real cracked eggs? What the hell? How do you make FAKE eggs? How could it be cheaper to make fake eggs in the first place?

And that leads me to the bigger question, rolling out 'real' food - what the hell have they been serving over there up until now? I guess this falls into the "everyone likes sausage, but no one wants to know how it's made." But if that were true, then why would they court the 'foodie' crowd who gives a rip about what kind of garbage they're eating?

Or worse, shouldn't we be outraged that when a restaurant puts out a press release that they'll be serving "real" food it becomes a newsworthy event?

Me? I'm going to the diner to eat a stack of hashbrowns and five eggs piled on a hamburger patty on top of a stack of pancakes.

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