Wendy’s is taking its menu in a seasonal direction with the official launch today of its new Berry Almond Chicken Salad.
The quick-service chain’s new salad, which is served with a cup of fresh strawberries and blueberries, will be available during the berries’ peak growing season throughout the summer.
In addition to the berries, the salad includes 11 varieties of greens, almonds roasted with sea salt, shaved Asiago cheese, and warm, grilled chicken breast. It is topped with a fat-free raspberry vinaigrette dressing that includes acai berry juice.
“Wendy’s cares about bringing fresh ingredients from the farm to the restaurant kitchens, which is why we only offer the Berry Almond Chicken Salad when the berries are at the peak of their freshness,” Ken Calwell, Wendy’s chief marketing officer said in a statement.
Calwell said the salads are prepared fresh every day, “from chopping the lettuce to slicing the fresh strawberries.”
Wendy’s said the salad is available at participating outlets as both an entrée for $6.49 or $5.29 without chicken, and half sizes for $4.49 or $3.89 without chicken. Wendy’s, which is owned by the Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc., has about 6,200 locations in North America.
The new salad follows the earlier rollout of the chain’s four savory Garden Sensation Salads, which the company said boosted salad unit sales by 60 percent last year.
The Berry Almond Chicken Salad has 460 calories, including 100 calories from the dressing.
With the pressure on to offer more health-centric menu items, chains are increasingly promoting fruit as a central ingredient in salads.
• Bruegger’s Bagels recently expanded its Under 500 Calories Menu with several 24-ounce salads containing fruit. Among the selections, the Burlington, Vt.-based chain introduced Harvest Chicken with diced chicken, salad greens, apples, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, cheddar cheese and strawberry vinaigrette.
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Bruegger’s also rolled out a Mandarin Medley, which features grilled chicken, greens, Mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, sliced almonds and balsamic vinaigrette.
• Mandarin oranges also are featured in McDonald’s Asian salad, which includes grilled chicken, mixed salad greens, edamame, snow peas, red bell peppers, sliced toasted almonds and a low-fat sesame-ginger dressing.
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Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s also is promoting its popular maple oatmeal topped with diced apples and a cranberry-raisin blend, and a mango-pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie, which is expected to debut this summer.
• Subway, based in Milford, Conn., also is currently promoting its Orchard Chicken Salad, which includes chicken, apples, cranberries and celery.
Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].