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Earlier this year, Wendy’s asked burger lovers to enter Build Wendy’s New Burger contest at ThisIsMyBurger.com for an opportunity to create a new addition to its menu in 2008. Seven months later, the winner is the Philly Style Hoagie Burger, created by Ian Van Camp, a screenwriter from Moorpark, California.
More than 2.1 million unique visitors have logged on to the Web site since June.
Wendy’s announced the winning burger today to mark the 38th anniversary of the founding of the hamburger chain by Dave Thomas in 1969. Thomas’ legacy of square-shaped hamburgers made from fresh, never frozen beef continues today at Wendy’s.
Van Camp’s Philly Style Hoagie Burger won the hearts of voters with two fresh beef patties, sliced ham, Genoa salami, American cheese, fresh onion rings, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and creamy Italian dressing, all on a premium bun. Inspired by his high school years in Philadelphia and a salami burger he used to order at a New York deli, Van Camp thought about more than just taste when creating his burger.
“I knew if I got too crazy with the ingredients it wouldn’t be possible for Wendy’s to make--but it had to be unique,” says Van Camp. “The fact that Wendy’s tested my burger in their food kitchen and that people liked what they tasted – how cool is that? Not many people can say that.”
Using an interactive burger-building tool at ThisIsMyBurger.com, Van Camp and other contest entrants chose from 54 possible ingredients and created every kind of burger imaginable, ranging from traditional to “experimental.” A team of Wendy’s hamburger experts selected 10 finalist recipes based on taste, build-ability and originality. Then, Wendy’s asked U.S. and Canadian consumers to choose their favorite.
Van Camp’s Philly Style Hoagie burger swept the field, beating out burgers that ranged from the Texas Ranch to the Teriyaki Blast. In addition to potentially having his burger added to Wendy’s menu, Van Camp receives $25,000. All nine runners-up receive free Wendy’s hamburgers for a year.