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Popeyes launches healthful menu items

Louisiana Leaux line also features a kid’s meal

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has launched a more healthful menu composed of standard offerings that have been re-worked and new lower-calorie items such as green beans and applesauce.

The Atlanta-based quick-service chain debuted the menu, dubbed “Louisiana Leaux -- Get up & Geaux!” in New Orleans’ French Quarter Saturday with a flash mob dance along Bourbon Street that had more than 1,000 people, said Dick Lynch, Popeyes chief marketing officer.

Watch a video of the flash mob

Popeyes introduced the new Leaux (pronounced “low”) menu offerings that have fewer calories and less fat and salt this month because consumer research showed that customers want more healthful menu alternatives, Lynch said.

The new offerings also needed to be easily executed in the kitchen and portable for customers, said Amy Alarcon, Popeyes director of culinary innovation. The company did not have to purchase equipment to accommodate the new menu items.

The Louisiana Leaux – Get up & Geaux (pronounced “go”) items include:

Naked Chicken Wrap: A cheese tortilla wrap topped with a Naked Tender, lettuce and pickles has 200 calories and 6 grams of fat, 38 percent fewer calories than a Loaded Chicken Wrap.

Naked Tenders Meal: Three seasoned Naked Tenders served with green beans and a toasted baguette roll has 300 calories, 9 grams of fat and 660 milligrams of sodium, a 78 percent reduction of sodium compared to a three-piece Tenders Meal with red beans, rice and a biscuit. “It was important to have something green on the menu,” Alarcon said.

Naked BBQ Chicken Po’ Boy: A toasted Po’ Boy baguette with two Naked Tenders topped with barbecue sauce, lettuce and pickles. The sandwich has 340 calories and 7 grams of fat, a 79 percent reduction in fat compared to the standard Chicken Po’ Boy.

Get Up & Geaux Kids Meal: Two Naked Tenders served with applesauce, a toasted baguette roll and a zero-calorie drink. It has 260 calories and 5 grams of fat, 68 percent fewer calories than a Kids Meal with a tender, regular fries and a drink. “We wanted to have a fruit component,” Alarcon said of the applesauce side.

Popeyes launched the more healthful options earlier this month as a permanent part of the menu. Anecdotal responses from operators and customers have been positive, Lynch said. Sales data for the new items are not yet available.

Popeyes, founded in New Orleans in 1972, is the world’s second largest quick-service chicken concept with 1,997 units worldwide. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen also won this year’s NRN MenuMasters award for Best Limited Time Offer with its Wicked Chicken, which is sliced thinner than the brand’s traditional tenders.

Contact Alan Snel at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @AlanSnelNRN

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