After several years of work and collaboration between Wendy’s culinary innovation and supply chain teams and the National Mango Board (NMB), fresh mango has finally penetrated the quick-service segment with Wendy’s limited time offer Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad. This achievement marks a new stage in the U.S. market for fresh mango consumption and could potentially impact overall fresh mango volume in the quick-service industry and other foodservice segments.
In 2013, the NMB opened discussions with Wendy’s pitching fresh mangos on the menu and offering NMB resources and contacts as an added benefit. While mango often appears on the top quick-serve menus, the use of fresh mango has until now been absent. The NMB provided Wendy’s with insights on mango import volume, best practices for handling and ripening, fresh-cut mango market, consumer and menu research, supply chain reporting, mango index by region, and general product information to help guide the process. The collaboration with Wendy’s not only put fresh mango on their menu, but also ensures a great eating experience for customers.
Wendy’s projected mango volume for the LTO is two million pounds. With the start of this new endeavor, the NMB is hopeful that this salad will begin to have a ripple effect on other quick-service chains. Director of Marketing, Valda Coryat sauys, “Placing more fresh mangos on the menu is one of the NMB’s top priorities. Wendy’s salad is an impressive benchmark for the mango industry and we hope this opportunity opens the door for fresh mango on more [quick-service] menus. We encourage foodservice operators in all segments to use fresh mango on their menus and reach out to the NMB as a resource for fresh mango information and market support.”
Available now until Labor Day, the seasonal Strawberry Mango Chicken Salad perfectly pairs refreshing flavors of summer and is built on a blend of spring mix and freshly chopped iceberg and romaine lettuce. The salad includes juicy chunks of ripe mango, hand-cut strawberries, tangy feta cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds, and it’s topped with all-white meat grilled chicken breast and drizzled with a Marzetti Simply Dressed Honey Citrus Vinaigrette.
This is the seventh-year Wendy’s has run a summer LTO salad with fresh fruit, and 2017 marks the first year the salad includes fruit other than berries. Wendy’s is promoting the salad on their social media platforms and T.V. commercials.