HomeBusinessWendy's is finally selling this "long-awaited" Frosty flavor

Wendy’s is finally selling this “long-awaited” Frosty flavor

Starting Monday, a Frosty Strawberry is on US menus for a limited time. Prices for the new Frosty vary by city, and strawberry is temporarily replacing vanilla — although Wendy’s promised the flavor would return after the promotion.

The strawberry proved popular when it was added to menus in Canada last year, becoming one of the online channel’s “most talked about items”, said Wendy’s chief marketing officer Carl Loredo. in an exclusive interview with CNN Business.

This momentum continued in the United States, when the strawberry flavor was tested in a few cities. “The result was that we ran out of product halfway through the program because people loved it so much,” Loredo said. “It’s highly anticipated – I dare say as anticipated as the launch of our Spicy Nuggets.”
It’s a notable change for Wendy’s, which doesn’t mix its Frosty flavors as often as McDonald’s (MCD) made with its McFlurry range. The strawberry is only the second new flavor added in the US in the past 16 years: Wendy’s launched a Frosty birthday cake in 2019 when the chain celebrated its 50th anniversary. Vanilla Frosty was added to menus in 2006.

Strawberry Frosties aren’t the only limited-time item at Wendy’s starting Monday. Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad is also back for the third summer in a row, a mix of freshly sliced ​​strawberries, bacon and grilled chicken served on a bed of crispy lettuce and spring mix.

Fast food chains are constantly competing for money and customer attention, and specialty offerings are a way to attract new customers and retain existing ones. For instance, McDonald’s (MCD) regularly bolsters its menu with new options, including a recently added Chocolatey Pretzel McFlurry.

Like other chains, Wendy’s has been hit hard by rising raw material and labor costs, which have squeezed margins. In the first quarter, global sales at Wendy’s restaurants that have been open for at least 15 months rose 2.4%, lagging their competitors. By comparison, McDonald’s sales at global restaurants open at least 13 months jumped 11.8%, while Burger King’s sales at restaurants open at least a year rose 10.3%.

On a recent analyst call, Wendy’s executives said first-quarter results fell short of expectations. “The first quarter, from a margin perspective, didn’t go entirely to plan,” Wendy’s chief financial officer Gunther Plosch said on a call with analysts in May. “We missed sales slightly,” he said, adding that “commodity and labor inflation was a bit higher than we expected.”

The burger chain is currently considering a possible sale or merger. Trian Partners, its largest shareholder, recently announced that it was looking to “increase shareholder value” with a potential deal.

Wendy’s shares are down more than 20% so far this year.

— Danielle Wiener-Bronner of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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