Wendy’s is keeping it fresh with the debut of two new permanent menu items to its premium salad line: the Asian Cashew Chicken Salad and BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad.
Wendy’s is providing salad consumers with tastes they would typically find in casual-dining restaurants, but with the speed, convenience, and price of a quick-service restaurant.
“Wendy’s is a leader in the salad business and we are very excited to raise the bar even higher,” says Craig Bahner, Wendy’s chief marketing officer. “Our latest premium salad innovations feature unique fusions of flavor, made with high-quality, contemporary ingredients. And as always, our salads are freshly prepared every day in our restaurants. These two new additions to our salad line prove, once again, that we are serious about elevating our salad line.”
The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad is a full-sized nutritious option. The fully dressed full-size salad is 380 calories, while the half-size has 240 calories. The salad features fire-roasted edamame and red peppers.
In addition to the hint of smokiness added by the edamame, Wendy’s brings the heat with spicy roasted cashews dusted with garlic, onion, and sea salt, and a Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette made with chili garlic sauce, roasted peanuts, soy sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad also features sliced cucumbers, a lettuce blend made up of 11 different kinds of field greens topped with a warm, grilled chicken breast fillet.
The BBQ Chicken Salad is inspired by the tastes of an old-fashioned backyard barbeque and features fire-roasted corn, diced tomatoes, and applewood-smoked bacon.
The salad is served with a BBQ Ranch dressing, made with buttermilk, Parmesan cheese, ancho chili pepper, honey, and brown sugar. A grilled chicken breast fillet adds heat against cool produce, drizzled with a honey barbeque sauce. The sharpness of shredded Cheddar cheese complements the sweetness from the barbeque sauce. The salad also includes 11 different kinds of field greens.
“When it comes to salads, consumers don’t want to compromise. They want great new tastes and nutritious options. They want high quality ingredients but at a fair price,” Bahner says. “In fact, these salads cost about 25 percent less than our fast-casual competitors.”
Wendy’s offers its premium salads in both full and half-size portions, giving customers more options to meet their dietary needs and dining occasions. These new salads join the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad and Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad as permanent menu items replacing the Baja Salad and the Chicken BLT Cobb. The new salads are 50 percent lower in fat grams, 29 perceny lower in sodium, and 61 percent lower in saturated fat than the Baja and Chicken BLT Cobb salads.
The BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad is available for a recommended price of $6.19 for the full-size and $4.19 for the half-size. The Asian Cashew Chicken Salad is available for a recommended price of $5.99 for the full-size and $3.99 for the half-size.
Wendy’s is also updating its Garden Side Salad by adding sliced cucumber and red peppers. The Garden Side Salad will keep the same recommended price of $1.59.
Salad innovation is just one component of Wendy’s ongoing brand transformation that includes the re-imaging of restaurants with a bold, contemporary look; an updated Wendy’s logo; new crew uniforms; consumer-preferred menuboards; and smart, new packaging.
“We continue to develop core menu and limited-time only product innovations that our customers love,” Bahner says. “Menu innovation is a central part of our brand transformation that we intend to continue to execute at a high level in 2014 to grow sales and profits.”