Reporters were given a preview of the fries at a New York City hotel last week. Attendees were each served a carton of the fries that look and taste like any other fries, even leaving the familiar grease stains in their paper cartons.
Burger King led off its presentation by comparing the fries to the "leading french fries," which are made by McDonald's. On a pound-for-pound basis, executives noted that the new fries have 30 percent fewer calories than those served at the Golden Arches.
The comparison to McDonald's may prove to be confusing for some, since fast-food chains each have their own definitions of what qualifies as a small, medium or large.
A small serving at McDonald's, for example, weighs considerably less than a small order at Burger King. As a result, a small order of McDonald's fries has 230 calories — which is still less than the 270 calories for a small serving of Burger King's Satisfries. A "value" order of Satisfries at Burger King — which is closer in weight to the small size at McDonald's — has 190 calories.
When asked if it had any plans to introduce lower-calorie fries as well, McDonald's said in a statement that it remained focused on serving the "iconic" fries that its customers love. McDonald's fries aren't battered like Burger King's fries.
Satisfries is the latest gambit by Burger King Worldwide Inc. to revive its image after a series of ownership changes. 3G Capital, the Brazilian private investment firm that bought the chain and took it private in 2010, unveiled a revamped menu last spring right before announcing a deal to take the chain public again.
The deal was structured in a way that let 3G more than recoup the $3.26 billion it paid for the chain, while maintaining a majority stake. Burger King's stock price is up 37 percent over the past year and trading close to $20 per share.