Case Study

The “Would-You-Like-Fries-With-That” Problem

The Problem

43% of consumers think limited time offers (LTOs) should feature a twist on a familiar dish and there’s nothing more familiar to consumers than french fries. After all, fries are consumed more often than 99% of all other menu items! What’s more, is that according to FreeTrade, the average profit margin on QSR fries is between 75-90%. So, when a longtime customer recognized the menu category was lacking innovation, it was an obvious choice for the chain to work new fry concepts into their pipeline. But, with limited space BOH for both prep and storage, the chain couldn’t take on a new bulky SKU so their focus would have to be on enhancing the flavor of their existing fries with a limited liability SKU that fit seamlessly into their existing BOH operation.

The Opportunity

Taking matters into their own hands, the chain developed a fry concept to be tested with screeners … and the outcome was lackluster. The concept didn’t resonate and it was obvious why – the flavor was a winner but the application, a dry seasoning, was not. Consumers wanted something better and the solution had to be wetter. The chain’s culinary team understood that that for this menu category to be a success, they would need a fry toss that would both deliver high-impact flavor and maintain the crispiness of the fries. Already familiar with our flavor delivery capabilities, our customer turned to us and our CrispKeeper technology to carry the idea over the finish line and into the marketplace. 

The Solution

Working with our team of chefs and food scientists, the customer’s original concept was reformulated into a fry toss featuring our CrispKeeper technology – designed to evenly coat and flavor applications without causing them to lose their crispy coating … all at a competitive price point. To further validate that the flavor matched the customer’s original desired flavor profile, our consumer research team conducted multiple triangle tests from our sensory panel at the Rubix Foods Innovation Center with positive results. Following the successful sensory testing, our marketing team helped our customer translate those results into a business case for fry innovation leading to formula approval and commercialization. From that point, our supply chain team worked closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure all production needs were met and our customer service team collaborated directly with the QSR to maintain supply and keep up with demand.

The Result

All these moving pieces led to a successful nationwide launch and allowed this QSR to enter the fry wars with a bang. Initial sales far exceeded original projections thus driving our customer to double their initial order volume. As our team continues to fill and maintain their current pipeline, we’ve already started work on future flavor iterations with this chain – all of which are low-cost fry toss SKUs that take up minimal space in BOH. In the end, we believe they will dominate the fry wars and own the menu category.

Increased Profit Margins

Our customer is charging 47% more for fries with our fry toss featuring CrispKeeper technology vs. their plain, standard fries. Additional sides of the sauce can be purchased for other menu items at a premium.

Exceeded Sales Expectations

The massive appeal of these fries resulted in our customer doubling their original order volume.

Celebrated by Reviewers

Online reviewers have commended the fries for being crispy yet flavorful and “a step above fast food fries.”

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