Burger King Worldwide Inc. has introduced a lower-calorie French fry that it says has significantly less fat and fewer calories than its competitors’ offerings.

The second-largest burger chain calls the new offering “Satisfries” and launched it Tuesday with a broad social media campaign.

Miami-based Burger King said the new crinkle-cut fries are processed with a special coating that absorbs less oil. In a value-size serving, the coating reduces fat to 8 grams, or 40 percent less in than traditional fries, and reduces calories to 190, or about 30 percent less.

“One out of every two Burger King guests orders our classic French fries, and we know our guests are hungry for options that are better for them but don’t want to compromise on taste,” said Alex Macedo, president for Burger King’s North America division.

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The new fries are priced between 20 cents and 30 cents higher than Burger King’s regular fries but can be substituted in kids’ meals at no added charge, the company said. Suggested prices for Satisfries will be $1.29 for the value size, $1.89 for small, $2.09 for medium and $2.29 for large.

To create anticipation around the launch, Burger King staged events tied to a #WTFF hashtag last week in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. #WTFF stands for “What The French Fry” and plays off a common “What The …” social-media usage.

“Unbranded oversized French fry pods with eight-foot crinkle-cut French fries were installed in high traffic areas,” the company said. “Passersby were encouraged to interact with the French fries and take pictures to post on social media using the hashtag.” Images with #WTFF are compiled at a Tumblr photo site.

The giant #WTFF fries were also bobbing up and down in the crowd outside Tuesday’s “Today Show,” giving the launch national exposure.

The health-oriented fries may set Burger King apart from its competition.

Nancy Kruse, president of The Kruse Company in Atlanta and a columnist for Nation's Restaurant News, said, “Burger King's new fries are totally in tune with the concept of stealth health, which offers patrons guilt-free indulgence. If the fries truly deliver on taste, they could be a real game changer.”

In nutritional data released by Burger King, it said a 70-gram serving of its Satisfries has 6.3 grams of fat versus 11.2 grams in McDonald’s fries and 150.5 calories versus 226.8 calories in McDonald’s offering.

Macedo of Burger King said, “When it comes to what we eat, we know that small changes can have a big impact.”

Burger King has more than 13,000 locations worldwide.

NRN food editor Bret Thorn contributed to this report.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless