Few things go together quite like a burger and fries. It’s hard to even imagine a burger without fries, and most fast food companies’ efforts to modify this classic duo have gone awry.
McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation report, for example, offers apple slices as an alternative to fries in its Happy Meals. Is a child happy when mom or day makes this change?
Many fast-casual restaurants allow customers to replace the fries with a salad or even a vegetable. It might be a healthy choice, but nobody makes it because they like salad more than fries.
International restaurant brands (RSQ) – Get the Restaurant Brands International Inc report Burger King has been experimenting with alternatives to fries for a long time. It has long offered onion rings – the less popular and equally unhealthy cousin of French fries – and in recent years has also added mozzarella sticks as an option.
Burger King once even tried to make fries healthier by offering “Satisfries,” a new version of the old favorite that contained fewer calories. This, as you can imagine, was an epic disaster. Customers didn’t want healthier fries and this experience lasted less than a year.
Now, amid global potato shortages, the chain has decided to try another alternative to french fries. It’s definitely not what you think, but it can become a popular menu item.
Burger King menu adds something unique
Burger King fries are not as popular as those offered by main rival McDonald’s. They might not even be as popular as Wendy’s (MAGNIFYING GLASS) – Get Wendy’s Corporate Report offers (after a recent rewording to bring them closer to what McDonald’s offers),
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Burger King has also tried new fries recipes (and will probably try again). Now, however, after a potato shortage caused the chain to limit the availability of fries at its restaurants in Japan, those same places have added a new fries alternative to their menu.
Burger King Japan has decided to offer combo meals consisting of a burger, drink and ramen, SoraNews24 reported:
“The tempting combination is called the Daitai Potato, or ‘Sorta Potato,’ because it aims to provide the salty, starchy satisfaction of a bag of fries despite its potato-free status. Instead of fries, the Daitai Potato Set will be you providing a bag of Baby Star Dodekai Ramen, a crunchy dried ramen noodle snack that’s popular enough to be a big seller on its own, even without the added incentive of a flame-grilled companion burger.
Can ramen be an answer for Burger King?
While dried ramen isn’t a weird addition to the menu in Japan, it’s not added to the menu because the chain expects many customers to forego ordering fries. Instead, ramen was added to ease the potato shortage.
The new addition to the menu won’t become a huge hit, but it might be popular with a small percentage of the public. This could give the company some leeway when it comes to its potato supply. Every order of ramen that sells is an order of fries that doesn’t sell, which could help alleviate supply chain issues when it comes to fries.
The dried ramen noodles won’t become the rum of a burger coke, but they could become a hit on the menu. It’s not McDonald’s that offers apple slices that no one wants. It’s closer to Burger King which sells onion rings because some customers will make the switch, even if only occasionally.
It’s not a replacement for fries – hardly any side dish has the chance to do that. Instead, it’s about offering another salty and tasty choice that could help the chain overcome the potato shortage (hopefully) in the short term.