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In a break from industry tradition, Wendy's is rolling out a new menu that it says will "fundamentally change the way people think about combo meals."
Now being launched throughout the U.S. and Canada, consumers can order a small chili, baked potato, or one of two side salads -- instead of french fries -- in their combo meals at no extra charge.
"Everyone wants variety in their combo meals from time to time," said Tom Mueller, president and chief operating officer, Wendy's North America. "We believe this approach will help Wendy's stand apart from the competition.
"It's another example of how we're actively responding to consumers' requests for more varied and nutritious food options."
The rollout follows two successful market tests earlier this year, which generated traffic from both existing and new customers. Advertising support will begin in late December and continue through mid February.
Instead of eight combo meals -- featuring hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, or Homestyle Chicken Strips, with french fries and a soft drink -- the new choices give consumers 40 different ways to create a combo.