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Wendy's Adds a New Menu Item, Takes a Beloved Favorite Away

The fast-food chain has added something many will love, but another beloved menu item had to be taken away to make it happen.

Over the past year Wendy's (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company (The) Report has focused more on value than innovation. The chain has shifted focus away from its 4 for $4 to put more attention on its $5 Biggie Bag. It did that by limiting the selection on the cheaper value menu choice and making the $5 offer the one where you get to pick which sandwich you want.

And while rivals like Restaurant Brands International's  (QSR) - Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report Burger King and Yum! Brands (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report Taco Bell endlessly release new items, Wendy's has opted to focus its efforts on its core menu, but its focus on value does not mean it won't be adding new menu items. CEO Todd Penegor spoke about the company's balance during its first-quarter earnings call.

"We're working so hard on our calendar to make sure that we've got digital offers in our app, continue to work to make sure that we have a 4 for $4 offering out there, trade folks up into the $5 Biggie Bag, which is compelling value, do the things that we need to do on the innovation front to continue to keep our menu fresh and on the top of mind for consumers to come in," he said.

Now, Wendy's has an important new menu innovation to one of its most iconic products that should delight its regular diners and bring in lapsed customers.

Wendy's Has Been Protective of the Frosty

Wendy's has a very unique item in its Frosty. It's not exactly a shake and not quite an ice cream. It's sort of somewhere between the two, but customers have made the item one of the most popular fast food dessert options.

The chain has rarely deviated from the original chocolate flavor which was the only Frosty offered from 1969 through 2006 when the chain added vanilla. Wendy's has offered Frosty Sundaes on a few occasions including earlier this year when it tested three sundae variations.

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  • Marshmallow Charms Frosty Sundae: A Vanilla or Chocolate Frosty topped with Lucky Charms Marshmallows, Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Sauce, and whipped cream.
  • Classic Strawberry Frosty Sundae: A Vanilla or Chocolate Frosty topped with sprinkles, strawberry sauce, and whipped cream.
  • Chocolate Lovers Frosty Sundae: A Vanilla or Chocolate Frosty topped Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce, Oreo Cookie pieces, and whipped cream.

That test was never introduced nationwide, so you see how protective the chain has been of its signature dessert. Now, however, Wendy's has a new Frosty flavor and its bringing it nationwide in June.   

Wendy's Has a Frosty New Dessert

Wendy's will introduce a new Frosty flavor this summer, Chewboom first reported, but to do that, one of its two classic flavors will go away for a while. The fast-food chain will be adding a Strawberry Frosty which is "a classic Vanilla Frosty blended with fruity strawberry-flavored syrup."

But as the company's menu gives, it also takes away because most Wendy's locations only have the capacity to serve two Frosty flavors at a time.

According to the unverified company memo, in conjunction with the launch of the new Strawberry Frosty, Wendy’s will remove the Vanilla Frosty from national menus throughout the summer to maintain a two-flavor Frosty program – Strawberry and Chocolate. The Vanilla Frosty will return to restaurants in early September 2022," Chewboom reported.

The change will not impact the Frosty-cinno coffee drink as that beverage uses vanilla Frosty mix that has not been frozen (a chocolate version is available as well).