- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Burger King thinks it’s found the way to move from its No. 2 slot in hamburger-chain popularity to No. 1, with a new crinkle-cut french fry with full-fat taste but low-fat content.

The chain — second only to McDonald's in sales — launched its new fry on Tuesday, touting it as 20 percent lower in calories than its regular french-fry fare, The Associated Press reported. The “Satisfries,” as they’re dubbed, come in at 270 calories a portion, compared with the regular 340-calorie recipe.

The secret’s in the batter, the chain said.

And executive are hoping to follow in the footsteps of other product manufacturers that similarly have catered to the low-cal-consumption crowd. Baked Lay’s potato chips and Oreo cookie 100-calorie snack packs are two examples, AP said.

Executive also emphasize that Satisfries aren’t simply more of the same, only smaller portions. Rather, the batter has specially formulated ingredients that actually block out some of the oil during the frying process, AP said. They’re also crinkle-cut, versus the regular smooth-skin version, so workers won’t mistakenly give the full-fat fry to a low-fat customer.

“You need to make things as simple as possible,” said Eric Hirschhorn, Burger King’s chief marketing officer.

Burger King kept the Satisfries secret as much as possible for Tuesday’s launch. Reporters were given a private preview of a “top-secret new product” at a New York City hotel last week but had to sign an agreement to keep quiet on what they saw.

Burger Business reported that McDonald's dominates in the burger-chain sales both domestically and globally. In December 2012, the chain touted $88.29 billion in sales — both company and franchise — around the world. Burger King, for the same year, reported $15.84 billion in global sales.