Wendy’s updates a favorite menu item that has been around for over 50 years.
Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company Report square-shaped burgers have been familiar to the fast-food chain’s diners for well over 50 years.
Along with Wendy’s iconic burgers, the Frosty is what even those who don’t eat fast food frequently know about and commonly associate with the hamburger chain.
The cold dessert that falls somewhere in between a shake and ice cream has been around since 1969 and has retain a loyal following.
When the first Wendy’s opened in Columbus, it was one of only five items on the menu alongside hamburgers, chili, french fries and soda.
Frosty has long been available in chocolate and vanilla, which was introduced in 2006 to complement the original chocolate one.
It’s thus a pretty big deal that, over the summer, Wendy’s will have a new strawberry flavor that brings the “creamy, delectable texture Frosty fans know and love with the flavor of sweet strawberry.”
A New Frosty Flavor Is Here
Officially confirmed and launched on June 6, the strawberry Frosty will temporarily replace vanilla as Wendy’s restaurants only have the capacity to serve two Frosty flavors at a time.
“There’s a lot of history with the chocolate that has been around since the beginning and the vanilla which was introduced later,” John Li, vice president of culinary innovation, said during a press call for journalists. “We didn’t want to mess with a good thing but consumers were clamoring for it and we said ‘you know what? we need to do this.'”
Before bringing the Frosty to restaurants and North America, Wendy’s tested reception of the strawberry Frosty in Canada and Virginia. It was generally met with good reviews online as well as internet discussions on how those outside those markets could secure one.
Wendy’s sent journalists on the call a sample of the strawberry Frosty and, while Staff Writer Veronika Bondarenko has not had one in years for a true comparison with the original, she found the strawberry flavor sweetly reminiscent of childhood visitors to the ice cream shops during summers.
Along with the Frosty, Wendy’s is also bringing back the Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad. The mix of lettuce topped with strawberries, cheese and chicken was introduced in 2020 and reappeared on the menu the following two summers.
The chain is also adding its a new lemonade flavor. The Sunburst Melon Lemonade is made with hints of strawberry, kiwi, and watermelon.
Both items will be available both on the Wendy’s app and at its regular restaurants. For those who buy a salad on the app until July 3 will also get a free small order of fries.
What Else Is In Store For Wendy’s?
Seasonal menus that focus on an ingredient like strawberries are a common way for fast-food chains to re-insert themselves in customers’ minds every couple of months. It is also a way to introduce new items and play around with more adventurous combinations without alienating customers (some feel very strongly about any change to a beloved chain’s menu.)
“You have to do it in a way that’s a little bit on trend but no so scary for everybody,” Li said.
While Wendy’s would not comment on plans beyond what it announced at this call, it hinted at expanding its breakfast menu next. It has recently been on a push to grow the sales it gets from breakfast with a bigger menu.
Another goal for the chain is to introduce fancier ingredients and flavors that may not immediately come to mind as “fast food.”
“I look back to my former days in fine dining and want to be able to give our customers that level of quality of food and be able to introduce the kitchen to ingredients they may not be that familiar with,” Becky Davis, director of culinary innovation, said in the call.