Industry News | June 8, 2006

Wendy's to Switch to Trans-Fat Free Oil

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June n a move that significantly reduces trans fatty acids (TFAs) on its menu, Wendy's is making the switch to non- hydrogenated cooking oil for its French fries and breaded chicken items. The oil has zero grams of trans fat per serving.

Wendy's announced today that its 6,300 U.S. and Canadian restaurants are scheduled to switch to the new blend of corn and soy oil beginning in August. Wendy's breaded chicken sandwiches, nuggets, and strips will have zero grams of trans fat. Depending on the serving size, trans fats in French fry offerings will range from zero to 0.5 grams. Kids' Meal nuggets and fries will have zero grams of trans fat.

Beyond those efforts, Wendy's is working directly with its French fry suppliers to further reduce trans fats that occur as part of the par frying process at their facilities, with a goal of zero grams.

As part of an extensive year-long process, more than 370 Wendy's restaurants in Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia and Ontario, Canada have been testing the new cooking oil.

"We've been diligently working to reduce the trans fat levels in our food without jeopardizing the great taste our customers expect," says Kerrii Anderson, Wendy's interim chief executive officer. "This is the right thing to do. We're proud of our legacy of innovation in the restaurant industry, and these latest steps that enhance the nutritional profile of our food. We're the first national hamburger chain cooking with non-hydrogenated oil in the U.S."

Wendy's use of the non-hydrogenated oil also means on average a 20 percent reduction in saturated fats in the breaded chicken items and French fries.

The changes to Wendy's cooking oil and chicken items will reduce TFAs for Wendy's breaded chicken and fries by an average of 95 percent.

In a move completed earlier this year, all salad dressings offered in Wendy's Garden Sensations salad line now have zero grams of trans fat per serving. In 2005, Wendy's restaurants began offering margarine with zero grams of trans fat per serving with its baked potatoes.*