Wendy's "improved" burger

At first blush, you might think that "Dave's Hot 'N Juicy" is the title of a pornographic movie. But, actually, it's only a hamburger.

At first blush, you might think that “Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy” is the title of a pornographic movie. But, actually, it’s only a hamburger.

Well, not just any old hamburger. The Hot ‘N Juicy is the reinvented burger now being rolled out by the fast food giant, Wendy’s. In 2009, shortly after a hedge-fund whiz took over the chain, a directive came down from on high to deconstruct and reconstruct the product, which had not changed since the company started 42 years ago.

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Operating under the code name of Project Gold Hamburger, the effort was a Pentagon-style mobilization involving the full genius of the corporate system. Money was no object. Executives were deployed from corporate headquarters to travel across country and surreptitiously measure burger characteristics in the products of competitors. A pickle chemist was brought in, a cadre of bun analysts worked on issues of strength and texture, consumers were surveyed on the crucial matter of lettuce crunch, and the matter of proper patty-press repetitions was tested to the nth degree. Of course, the marketing people had to massage the makeover, and branding experts were hired to work their magic.

Finally, after two-and-a-half years and millions of dollars – ta da! – The Hot ‘N Juicy is available for purchase. The result should not be taken lightly. Indeed, the “improved” Wendy’s has a fattier beef patty, a buttered bun, and whole fat mayonnaise – weighing in at 33 grams of fat and 580 calories per burger. That’s 7 fat grams more and 70 calories more than the comparable quarter-pounder with cheese at McDonald’s.

Such corporate overkill is nonsense. If the hedge-fund magnate really wanted a better burger, all he had to do was invite himself to a few backyard cookouts in any blue-collar zip code in America. That’s where you find hot and juicy.

“Wendy’s 42-year-old burger gets a makeover,” www.star-telegram.com, September 20, 2011.

“Five Reasons Wendy’s New ‘Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy’ Might Fail,” www.yahoo.com, September 19, 2011.

“Wendy’s Gives All Out Effort for New Burger – Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy,” www.medicaldaily.com, September 19, 2011.

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