News update:Jan 11, 2010

Eateries to follow McDonald's chicken snack lead

McDonald's recently expanded its chicken snack wrap with the launch of a honey mustard variety and the option of having the chicken piece grilled instead of fried.

McDonald's has given the chicken snack wrap some credit for its stellar sales performance in past weeks. The product, priced around US$1.29, essentially makes use of items the company already had for use in other menu items: chicken strips, soft flour tortillas, shredded cheese and shredded lettuce. Customers had requested a grilled version, said Ubong Ituen, senior director of menu management.
"It's our hope we will continue to grow this. Consumers really love this product," Ituen said. The new wrap is in the vanguard of a chicken boom on McDonald's menus.A spicy salsa-roja flavor is among the wraps the company is testing.
The product plays into two growing trends, chicken consumption and snacking. The grilled wrap offers a lower-fat snacking option for more health-conscious patrons of McDonald's, which is trying to eliminate artery-clogging transfat from its cooking oil.
More restaurants are trying to tap into the snacking trend, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic Inc, a restaurant research firm. With eateries providing free wireless Internet access and cozier settings that encourage guests to linger, such value-priced snacks are a good opportunity to generate revenue.
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