Wendy’s Rolls Out ‘All-Natural’ Fries: Just What the Consumer Ordered?

Over the next two weeks, Wendy’s will be rolling out a fry with a new attitude: all-natural.

In over 41 years, it’s the first major change coming to the fast food chain’s French fries, and it’s part of a larger attempt to stay competitive in a marketplace ever-concerned with real and healthy foods.

The “natural-cut fries” will still come to Wendy’s chains packaged, frozen, and pre-cut, but the big changes are in how the fries are made. They’ll be a thinner cut, doused in sea salt (rather than the old iodized table salt), and they’ll be skin-on. Ironically, the amendments to the fries actually add more sodium and calories to the overall nutrition tally, but the emphasis is on the aesthetic of the product, and the aesthetic is clear: natural.

“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 Chief Marketing Officer Ken Calwell of the impetus behind the company’s move.

Does sprinkling sea salt on French fries make them a “real food” for natural food and nutrition enthusiasts? That question is one that only consumers can answer.

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