EJM Designs Limited Blog

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wendy's Fried Linguistics

You may have noticed that since November, Wendy's has been offering slimmer, skin-on fries called -- well, let the branding speak for itself:

Wendy's Fries

At first glance, you notice the rustic/artisan patina print, "Natural" and "Sea Salt!?" OMG - Wendy's is going all natural, must be organic or something. Must have!

They did an amazing job on their branding for this because that was my first, subconscious reaction as well: Yay! Wendy's goes natural, go green! Ah, but it is not to be so.

Quick review of the language

Natural-Cut: This is not "Natural, cut" but natural-cut, literally meaning cut naturally. Now I can imagine a few horrific scenarios where you might see potatoes being cut and exclaim "Oh, how unnatural!" but seriously: how do you cut things unnaturally. That's like advertising "Coherent-Reality Chips." When wouldn't they be? And if they went through such extensive pains NOT to call their fries natural, what are they exactly?

Fries: Lest you forget amongst all the magical potato language and graphics, these are french fries. They are fried taters. And while fried taters may be delicious and varied in taste and preparation, they are NEVER good for you.

Sea Salt: Yes, sea salt is different than table salt, especially the micron-powdered stuff they used to coat the fries with, but it's still salt. You ever hear a doctor tell his/her heart patient "The table salt is killing you, but if you can switch to sea salt, I think you'll be just fine."?

The Truth

Based on some preliminary articles, Wendy's missed the boat on this one. Despite appearing more appealing to foodies or naturalists, "the new fries will pack more sodium - a medium size fry goes from 350 milligrams to 500 milligrams ... and calories jumps 10 to 420."

Caveat emptor, my friends. If something looks too good to be true, ...well, you know.

(And on a personal note, I do think the new fries are pretty tasty.)

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