Burger King launches lower-calorie French fries

With customer’s interest in more nutritious menu choices increasing and consumer groups in the United States pressurizing the food industry to offer healthier options, Burger King Worldwide Inc, has introduced lower-fat French fries.

The new fries launched in Burger King restaurants nationwide this week reportedly contain 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories compared to those sold by archrival McDonald’s Corp, which are touted as the fast-food industry’s most popular French fries.

The new products pitched as “Satisfries” are crinkle-cut to distinguish them from the burger chain’s full-calorie fries. The ingredients are the same potato, oil and batter and are even prepared like regular fries, in the same fryer and cooked for the same duration. The only difference is that the lower-calorie alternative to its fattier rival is thinly coated with a batter that absorbs less oil.

Burger King spent two years developing the new fries with its supplier McCain Foods that is exclusive to the Miami-based hamburger chain. The fast-food restaurateur is betting that its new low-calorie French fries will give it an edge over its long-time competitor McDonald’s.

“We know our guests are hungry for options that are better for them, but don’t want to compromise on taste,” Alex Macedo, president North America for Burger King Worldwide, said in a press release.

The new fries will retail at $1.89 for a small portion compared to $1.59 for its existing fries. However, Burger King will offer new fries without any extra cost in kid’s meals. A small serving of the new Satisfries has 270 calories and 11 grams of fat. Burger King is still selling its more traditional fries, which contain about 25% more calories and one-third more fat than the Satisfries.

On queries pertaining to Burger King’s latest move, Mc Donald spokeswoman Ofelia Casillas said in an e-mail, “We know that our customers love McDonald’s iconic world famous fries and we remain focused on serving them to our McDonald’s 69 million customers every day around the world.”