Chick-fil-A is making a bold addition to its menu.
The company is launching a kale-based side as an alternative to fries, marking the first time that a fast-food chain has offered kale nationwide, executives told Business Insider.
The new so-called “superfood side” features hand-chopped kale and broccolini tossed in a maple vinaigrette dressing and topped with dried sour cherries and roasted nuts including walnuts, almonds, and pecans.
The dish is just 140 calories for a 5-ounce portion and contains 7 grams of fat. By comparison, a medium order of the chain’s waffle fries are 400 calories with 21 grams of fat.
To make room for the new side, Chick-fil-A has dropped cole slaw from the menu, which has been served by the chain since it opened in 1946.
“It’s a bittersweet day for us because cole slaw has been on the menu for a long, long time,” said David Farmer, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of menu strategy and development, in an interview. “But its popularity has waned over the years… and the days of adding things to the menu without taking things away are behind us.”
The new side, which has been 18 months in the making, is launching on January 18.
It was created in collaboration with Atlanta restaurateur and James Beard Award-nominated chef, Ford Fry.
The side can be ordered as a substitution for fries in a combo meal for an extra charge of 94 cents. It’s also available on its own in a 5-ounce serving for $2.59 or an 8-ounce serving for $3.79.
In advertising, the company will suggest pairing the side with an 8-count order of grilled nuggets for a healthy 280-calorie meal.
Like all of Chick-fil-A’s salads, the “superfood side” will be prepared in restaurants throughout the day and served fresh. The ingredients are never frozen.
It’s so fresh, in fact, that Chick-fil-A had to push back the launch by a week because of recent cold weather in California and Arizona that has delayed their suppliers from harvesting the broccolini.
Farmer promises that people whp don’t even eat broccolini or kale regularly will love the new side.
“We have tested it in several markets,” he says, and “gotten a big thumbs up from customers and restaurant operators.”
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