Burger King is cutting the healthier French fries it launched with great fanfare less than a year ago. The company said in a statement about two-thirds of North American franchisees are choosing to phase out Satisfries, which it said had been "an extended limited-time offering." Darren Tristano, executive vice president of food industry consultants Technomic Inc., said a few factors were to blame. “Top of the list, you have to start with price,” he said of the more expensive Satisfries. Operationally, preparing two kinds of fries would have been more complicated, Tristano said, which could compromise quality. And finally, Americans don’t buy healthy food at the drive-thru. “They go to fast food restaurants like Burger King for indulgence,” he said. According to consumer perception research firm YouGov BrandIndex, Burger King’s brand image improved following the fries’ launch, but the boost didn’t last. “People who consider themselves in good or excellent health have not been radically moved by BK's efforts and in the long run, it was unable to sustain itself with this demo,” spokesman Drew Kerr said via email.
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-Martha C. White, NBC News contributor
First published August 14 2014, 10:06 AM