Burger King Changes Fries Amidst Competition

Burger King has modified its French fry recipe amidst new reports that the restaurant will be overtaken by competing fast food chain, Wendy's.

The fry recipe at the second largest hamburger chain has not changed since 1998. Burger King said the new fries will be thicker – a move that would allow the fries to stay hotter longer, reduce sodium levels, and add crispness.

Changes to the fries will not affect the price though, and the wider fries will be available in over 7,000 North American Burger King restaurants Dec. 5.

The first change to Burger King’s fry recipe in over ten years comes after Tuesday’s report that Wendy’s is on track to overtake the chain’s position as the second largest fast-food chain, following McDonald’s.

“We expect Wendy’s to overtake privately-held Burger King for the number-two market-share position within the limited-service hamburger sector, perhaps as soon as this year,” wrote Mark Kalinowski, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets, according to the Orange County Register.

Janney Capital Markets owns a buy rating on Wendy’s, and according to the report by Kalinowski, Wendy’s dethroning Burger King will be the result of a focus on premium foods and reshaping the restaurant.

Burger King’s decision to change their fries is not the only measure the restaurant has taken under the pressure of competition. In August the chain changed their longtime mascot, the king wearing a golden crown, to a mother.

Wendy’s on the other hand advertises new items such as Dave’s Hot N’ Juicy Cheeseburgers as well as natural-cut fries with sea salt and an updated chicken sandwich. According to Kalinowski, there is more to come.

Kalinowski added that Wendy’s has not marketed itself as a “McDonald’s clone,” and is distinguished next to the leading fast-food chain. The analyst also told the OC newspaper that Wendy’s plan is to surpass Burger King with increased sales through use of modern amenities such as fireplaces and flat-screen televisions.

Four of the 10 biggest fast food chains in the U.S. by revenue have menus focusing on hamburgers, and sell billions of dollars worth of food every year. McDonald’s number one position as a burger restaurant is astonishingly unencumbered, with a claim of 49.5 percent of the market share.