Industry News | April 10, 2014

Chick-fil-A Doubles Down on Health with New Grilled Recipe

Chick-fil-A
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Chick-fil-A is introducing a new lineup of grilled chicken entrées that will give the chain a nutritious and expansive grilled menu. On April 14, the Atlanta-based restaurant chain will officially rollout three new entrées—the Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Chick-fil-A Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, and Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets—in an ongoing effort to provide more flavorful and craveable grilled options for its nutrition-minded customers.

Chick-fil-A’s new recipe features a backyard grilled taste. Each grilled chicken breast is marinated with a blend of sea salt, lemon, garlic, and savory herbs, and cooked on a proprietary grill developed by Chick-fil-A. The technique creates a tender, juicy filet with smoky flavor.

To make this menu enhancement possible, Chick-fil-A invested seven years of testing and more than $50 million to reinvent its grilled chicken recipe. The largest portion of the investment came as the company worked with Garland Grills to create a proprietary grill. This grill sears chicken on cast-iron grates like it was cooked on a backyard grill, only faster.

“We started with a mission to create a best-in-class grilled sandwich, and after testing 1,200-plus recipes, we landed on a taste so remarkable that we decided to extend the flavor into a full grilled line,” says David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of product strategy and development. “Our previous grilled entrees were good, but not remarkable. We wanted a grilled chicken recipe that is just as craveable as our original Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich.”

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich features boneless breast meat marinated with a blend of seasonings and grilled for a backyard-grilled taste. It is served on a new toasted multigrain bun with lettuce and tomato and a side of Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce. It is priced starting at $4.29 with just 320 calories and 5 grams of fat.

Building on the improvements of the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, the Chicken Club adds a kick of flavor with Colby-Jack cheese and applewood-smoked bacon. It is priced starting at $5.49 and has 440 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets, which were first introduced in 2012 as a Kid’s Meal entrée, have been reinvented and offer the new grilled flavor in bite-sized pieces of pure boneless breast of chicken that are great as a meal or a snack. Customers can order Grilled Nuggets in 8-count (140 calories, 3 grams of fat) or 12-count (200 calories, 4.5 grams of fat) with their choice of dipping sauce. Grilled Nuggets are made without gluten-containing ingredients and are free of trans fats, with prices starting at $3.79 and $5.59, respectively.

Chick-fil-A’s new grilled chicken recipe also enhances the chain’s line of other grilled chicken entrées, including the Grilled Market Salad, Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap, and Chicken Salad Sandwich.

“Chick-fil-A is more committed than ever to providing our customers with a menu of choice that not only tastes great, but is great for them,” Farmer says. “Whether our customers are counting carbs, fat or calories, or eating food made without gluten-containing ingredients, we offer a number of menu options to suit their dietary needs and preferences. To keep them informed, we make our nutritional information easily accessible for all guests, including an online meal calculator, calorie counts posted on our menu boards, nutrition panels and pamphlets in our dining rooms, and order-specific nutrition information printed on receipts by request.”

On February 11, Chick-fil-A announced it will serve chicken raised without antibiotics in all its restaurants nationwide within five years. The move marked the first time a quick-service restaurant committed to such a standard for poultry. In late 2013, the company removed yellow dye from its chicken soup, and is testing the removal of high fructose corn syrup from all dressings and sauces, artificial ingredients from its bun, and TBHQ from its peanut oil. Also in 2013,

Chick-fil-A overhauled its salad line by introducing three premium salads as well as a new wrap with locally sourced greens and premium fruits and vegetables. Chick-fil-A is actively working to reduce sodium across its menu, including a 25 percent sodium reduction in breads and 10 percent sodium reduction in dressings and sauces.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.