Burger King Is Revamping Its French-Fry Recipe

Can a new formula help the King compete with McDonald's and Wendy's?

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Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Burger King Corp., the second-largest hamburger chain, will introduce a new french fry recipe in its more than 7,000 North American restaurants by December 5.

The chain implemented its first new recipe since 1998 in response to competition from rivals like McDonald’s, which is arguably the french-fry king.

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These new fries are thicker than their predecessors, and have reduced sodium and a coating that makes them crisper and keeps them hotter longer. “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,” Leo Leon, vice president of innovation, told Reuters. The price of the fries will remain the same.

Burger King’s new fries come a little over a year after rival Wendy’s introduced their “natural cut fries with sea salt.” These newer fries reflect a general trend toward more “natural” offerings, like fries that are or appear to be made from fresh-cut potatoes or have “artisan” toppings. For instance, In-N-Out cuts its french fries in its restaurants every day and cooks them in cholesterol-free vegetable oil.

Burger King will promote its new fries on December 16 by giving away $1 “value” portions for free. The new fries will be available outside the United States in 2012.

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