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Burger King reformulates french fries: thicker, less sodium

Michael Santo's picture

People will argue, and argue, and argue, over which french fries are the best, whether it be from a big chain like McDonald's or your neighborhood diner, and Burger King, given all the intense competition in fast food, has decided to do something it hasn't done since way back in 1998: change its french fries.

The new "recipe" includes changes such as thicker fries, with reduced sodium (a good thing for health-seeking consumers, though let's face it ... fast food in general* is not the best thing to eat). The company also added a coating that makes the french fries crisper and keeps them hotter longer.

Leo Leon, vice president of innovation at Burger King said, “With the launch of our new fries, the home of America’s favorite burger now has the best fries in the business. 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," adding that the company tested the new formula against other options. "This, by far, was the winner."

The fries are now slightly larger in diameter than a No. 2 pencil. They will be available in all of Burger King's over 7,000 North American restaurants by December 5. The new fries will be available outside the United States in 2012. Prices are unchanged.

Burger King said the new fries have 20 percent less sodium than the prior recipe. The smallest, "value portion" ($1) has 330 mg of sodium and 240 calories. You can also get it in unsalted form, and they have 220 calories and 240 mg of sodium. Burger King cooks its fries in trans fat-free vegetable oil; they do not contain animal products.

Not sure you'll like the new Burger King french fries? You'll get a chance to sample them for free. On Dec. 16, Burger King will have a one-day new fries promotion, and will give away the new fries in the $1 "value" portions.

Last year, investment firm 3G Capital purchased Burger King and took it private in a deal worth $3.3 billion. Burger King has 12,400 restaurants globally. Burger King is currently the No. 2 hamburger fast food chain, trailing McDonald's. Wikipedia notes that at the end of fiscal year 2010, 90 percent of Burger King restaurants were privately owned and operated.


* We discussed earlier how some type 2 diabetics were amazed at the fact that their glucose level didn't skyrocket (at least, after a few hours of digestion) after an In-N-Out Burger lunch, whereas anything from places like Burger King or McDonald's caused a huge spike in glucose that stayed up in unsafe levels for hours and hours. That doesn't mean that the meal is necessarily healthy in terms of calories or cholesterol, of course.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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