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News - Wendy’s Pretzel Burger Makes a Comeback

Jun/2014

22

Wendy’s Pretzel Burger Makes a Comeback

The pretzel burger at Wendy’s is finally coming back, and quite possibly for good.  After a six-month absence, Wendy’s will bring back its wildly popular Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and Pretzel Pub Chicken Sandwich over the July 4th weekend. The success of these two items was the start of 2013’s trend in pretzel-related fast food, including Sonic’s pretzel hot dogs, Dunkin Donut’s pretzel roast beef sandwich and Dairy Queen’s pretzel Blizzard.

Above anything- pretzels, especially soft pretzels, sell. Consumers inhaled more than 50 million pretzel sandwiches from Wendy’s in 2013, driving 3% sales jumps in both the third and fourth quarters, says CEO Emil Brolick.

“The re-launch is a seminal event in our innovation history,” says Brolick in a phone interview. “Wendy’s won’t specifically say if the re-launch is a limited-time offering or a permanent menu addition. Time will tell,” he says.

Of course, customers will have an influence, too. After Wendy’s removed the pretzel sandwiches from its menu late last year, it was attacked in social media by pretzel-loving customers

The burger will be $4.99, about 30 cents more than last year. Also, notes Chief Marketing Officer Craig Bahner, consumers now will be able to request a pretzel bun with any other Wendy’s sandwich for an additional 30 cents.

Beyond pretzel buns, the re-launch shows how quickly young, demanding consumers are changing fast food menus, particularly on sandwich buns and breads.

“How long has it been since fast-food changed the white bun?” asks Elizabeth Sloan, a restaurant industry trends consultant. “There is a revolution going on in terms of sandwich carriers.”

For Wendy’s, the intro also is an attempt to boost sales during its busiest time of year and to regain its footing as an industry innovator. Within the industry’s social-media buzz meter over the past several years, pretzel sandwiches rank right up there with Taco Bell’s game-changing Doritos Locos Tacos.

Let’s see if the almighty Pretzel-Bun-Burger and Sandwich can hold its own in the world where the Millennial Generation sets the trends for fast-food crazes.

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