In 2010, Wendy’s launched their New Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt. Just the name of the fries, makes your mouth salivate. This change was brought about by the consumer demand and extensive consumer research done by Wendy’s on their customers. Insights from market research revealed that customers wanted a French fry that had: “a golden color, a real potato taste and one that stays hot longer.” In addition, they found that consumers were more health-conscious and were concerned with fast food being high in sodium. Wendy’s monitored online conversations discussing the pressing issue and formulated their New Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt.
They initially launched their new creation in 3 cities in the United States to test the market.Wendy’s had their ear to the ground and the launches yield high ratings overall with customers continuing Wendy’s momentum towards a successful global launch.
So why was Wendy’s Sea Salt Fries so successful?
It’s because of Social Listening.
Wendy’s didn’t just change up their fries formula like Coca-Cola in 1985 with the launch of their “New Coke” Campaign. They listened to their customers. They knew from online discussions that their customers were concerned about sodium and their health. Through social listening, Wendy’s was able to position its sea salt fries as a healthy alternative to traditional fries.
Wendy’s was able to engage with their customers and provide them with what they love/want. They listened to find out that customers wanted healthier alternatives to the traditional fast food and listened again after their test launch in those 3 cities. This gave Wendy’s the assurance that their New Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt was what their customers wanted and loved.