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Hardee’s joins QSRs adding premium breakfast burritos

ST. LOUIS Hardee’s has added a premium breakfast burrito as a limited-time offer, extending the list of quick-service chains that are embracing the item as a potential draw in the increasingly competitive morning market.

Hardee’s Country Breakfast Burrito consists of two egg omelets filled with crumbled bacon, sausage, diced ham, shredded cheddar cheese, hash rounds and a ladle of sausage gravy, all wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. The suggested price for the new item is $2.69 a la carte or $4.09 in a combo with a side of hash rounds and coffee.

Nutrition advocates, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, decried Hardee’s new burrito, which contains approximately 920 calories and 60 grams of fat.

The chain has drawn the ire of the CSPI before with its line of Monster Thickburgers, the largest of which has 1,420 calories and 108 grams of fat, according to Hardee’s website.

Areport by the Associated Press quoted CSPI’s senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley as saying that Hardee’s new breakfast burrito was "another lousy invention by a fast-food company."

Hardee’s marketing chief, Brad Haley, said in the AP report that the Country Breakfast Burrito is meant to be filling. “We don’t try to hide what these are,” he said.

Hardee’s is among other quick-service restaurant chains selling or testing premium breakfast burritos, including McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Del Taco. McDonald’s is testing two McSkillet Burritos, priced at $2.69 or $3.19, in selected test markets. A franchisee recently told Nation’s Restaurant News that he expects the items to be added permanently to his menu.

Hardee’s, a subsidiary of CKE Restaurants of Carpinteria, Calif., has a total of 1,905 restaurants.

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