Fastfood chain Wendy’s International Inc. has pulled fresh fruit off the menu at its burger restaurants because sales were not living up to expectations, a company spokesman said, according to the Reuters news agency.
The bowls and cups of fresh-cut melon, pineapple and grapes, introduced amid much fanfare in February, were gone from Wendy’s 6,400 U.S. and Canadian restaurants as of 1 November, spokesman Bob Bertini said.
“As we got into the end of the summer and fall, it was not meeting our expectations in terms of sales,” Bertini said. “Fruit tended to be more of a seasonal product.”
Bertini added that Wendy’s would continue to sell mandarin oranges in its restaurants.
Wendy’s foray into fresh fruit came after rival McDonald’s last year introduced bagged apple slices with caramel dipping sauce, called Apple Dippers. Wendy’s has blamed stepped-up competition from McDonald’s for sluggish sales at its namesake chain in the past year.
McDonald’s also has a salad of apples, grapes and walnuts which was introduced in its US restaurants a few months after Wendy’s fresh fruit cups were rolled out.
Shortly after the launch of its fresh fruit products and accompanying national advertising campain, Wendy’s had said sales were exceeding expectations.
Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. supplied Wendy’s with the fruit, and Piper Jaffray analyst Eric Larson said in a note to clients he expected that the loss of that business would reduce the near-term growth rate of Fresh Del Monte’s fresh-cut fruit business.