What is in this article?:
- Restaurant chains promote lighter fare for 2013
- Starting the new year right
Panera, Applebee’s, Chili’s and other chains are promoting new, lower-calorie menu items to kick off the new year.
Starting the new year right
Similarly, Pollo Tropical continues to promote its “21 Days to a New You” plan that gives customers a 21-day plan for meals with fewer than 1,000 calories.
“It was based on the fact that it takes 21 days to form a habit, so the idea is that we’ve given people a meal plan,” said Lesly Ortiz, supervisor of marketing communications at Pollo Tropical, whose parent company, Fiesta Restaurant Group, is based in Addison, Texas. “It’s teaching people to really change their lifestyle versus just eating less for the next two weeks [and then getting off track]."
The chain introduced the 21-day plan a few years ago, Ortiz said. However, the company is always adding new items to the plan to keep things interesting.
Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, is also building on an established menu. The company launched a new JalapeñoBurger Dec. 18, an addition to the company’s Men’s Health-approved turkey burger menu.
The inspiration behind the new turkey burger was to give customers a lot of flavor for not a lot of calories, said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer at CKE Restaurants in a statement. The Jalapeño Turkey Burger has 490 calories.
In a recent Twitter promotion of the new burger, the Carl's Jr. brand tweeted, "With only 490 calories in our NEW Jalapeno Turkey Burger, U can make a resolution to eat @CarlsJr every day."
In addition, Panera is introducing a handful of new “power items” in the New Year that are designed to be nutrient dense and provide sustained energy, said spokeswoman Emily Caine in an email. New items include a Spinach Power Salad and a fat-free power smoothie, which contains ginseng and organic nonfat Greek yogurt.
The St. Louis-based company is also adding two salmon dishes, the Mediterranean Salmon Salad and the Salmon Club, to its menu in January.