Posts Tagged “Wendy’s”
Wendy’s International plans to buy almost 10% of the blackberry crop for a new seasonal salad the restaurant chain is scheduled to launch in summer 2016, based on federal numbers for domestic shipments.
California Giant Berry Farm is one of the suppliers for the 2 million pound deal, which has been in the works since 2014.
Statistics from the USDA show wholesale channels shipped almost 21.2 million pounds of U.S. blackberries in 2014. California shipped about 18 million pounds through wholesale channels in 2014.
California Giant has since started ramping up its blackberry production with many of its growers ripping out raspberries and planting blackberries. Other growers are using different pruning techniques to maximize production from existing plants.
California Giant also plans to source blackberries from the Southeast U.S., including Georgia, to meet Wendy’s demand.
The timing of the Wendy’s 2016 blackberry salad is expected to come just as the Mexican deal winds down and U.S. growers begin shipping. Supplies from California usually begin peaking in late July and continue with good volumes through the end of October.
Ultimately Wendy’s officials decided to go with California Giant and one other supplier for the blackberries. For most fresh produce commodities the chain uses two to five companies to supply its 22 distribution centers across the U.S.
Wendy’s has about 6,700 locations in North America and has introduced seven new salads in the past two years. One of those, the strawberry fields chicken salad, proved so popular in 2014 that the company brought it back this year.
The company plans to continue developing fresh produce menu items, saying consumer trends are being driven partly by celebrity chefs and cooking shows that promote healthy eating including fresh fruits and vegetables.
The fast food restaurant chain plans to buy 2 million pounds of strawberries and 1 million pounds of blueberries from now through September to meet customer demands for the seasonal salad, according to a news release from the Dublin, Ohio-based company.
Wendy’s officials hinted in the release that unseasonable weather in berry growing regions of the U.S. had an effect on the timing of the reintroduction of the berry almond salad.
“Thank goodness berries are ripening on the vine — at last,” Derek Detenber, Wendy’s vice president of brand management, said in the release.
The the salads include 11 types of field greens, in addition to fresh berries, providing a total of three servings of vegetables and one serving of fruit, according to the release. As with its other fresh produce items, Wendy’s employees slice fresh strawberries for the salads at individual restaurants.
Salads have been on the menu at Wendy’s for almost 35 years, with the chain selling more than 100 million salads in the U.S. in 2012, according to the news release. In 2012 Zagat rated Wendy’s salads as No. 1 in the fast food category, beating out Panaera, Chipolte and Subway.