Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Free samples of Arby's 'natural' chicken

To further entice consumers to their new 'natural' chicken (which I wrote about last week), Arby's is going to be giving away free samples. If you visit an Arby's this Thursday, March 9, between 11 AM and 7 PM you can get a free Arby's "Chicken Naturals Tender" with your choice of dipping sauce.

Remember, though, that as far as government regulators (like the USDA) are concerned, 'Natural' means nothing. There are no requirements that must be fulfilled before you call your food product 'natural.'

Arby's calls their new chicken naturals "100 Percent Natural," and "Free of Added Water, Salt and Phosphates." But remember, from my previous post, that on their ingredients page, Arby's includes the following for their chicken: salt, hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, flavor contains less than 2% (autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, enzyme modified egg yolk, thiamine hydrochloride).

I'm not saying you shouldn't eat Arby's chicken, I'm just pointing out that its not much different from the other guys' chicken. :)


Jay T said...

I work in the poultry industry and can shed a little light on the use of the word "natural". For meat and poultry products, the use of the word "natural" means (per USDA) that nothing has been added and it's been minimally processed. Looking at Arby's website, it seems that they're saying that the chicken used in their new product line meets this definition. This suggests that others start with chicken that has been brined, injected, chopped and formed, etc.

There probably is some validity to their claim that these products provide a "more authentic chicken experience for customers" -- and isn't that what we all want. But it would be more significant if they were using chicken raised without antibiotics, or free-range, or organic.

Ken said...

Jay T-
Thanks for the additional info... it is helpful.

I'm sure that Arby's is trying to offer a better product than their competitors, and I'm sure their chicken is 'more chicken' than the other guys. I guess I just think that the "100% Natural" claim is a little misleading to the average consumer. It might imply to some that there are no additives post-processing (like preservatives, etc).

And I agree with you that it would be significant (a huge step, really), if they used chickens raised without antibiotics or even ones that qualified as "organic"!

Melissa said...

I think that when companies make a change to their product line like in this case, Arby's, it makes one wonder what the heck we were eating before. Well if it's just now all natural.. what the heck were in the chicken fingers before?? And for the record, I like the "unnatural" chicken fingers better. One question.. doesn't Burger King have the trademark or copyright on the term chicken tender? Seems kind of odd that two fast food chains are now using the same term for their chicken products.

Anonymous said...

I'll stick to organic chicken at home, thanks. However, for the record, Panera Bread has been featuring a free-range natural chicken without any additives, for at least a year. Their bread doesn't have any chemical, or other weird additives, either. Good luck to us all,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Anonymous said...

Panera is using Bell & Evans chicken in a bunch of its restaurants on the East coast...truly all natural: all-vegetarian diets, no antibiotics, no additives and it's even air chilled. But, Chipotle has been using Bell & Evans for the past four years and it is in about 40% of its 500+ restaurants,which is very cool.It also uses naturally raised pork and beef and organic beans. Good food.

Anonymous said...

You people are crazy. You have no idea what Arby's chicken did to my friend. We were looking forward to a nice meal at the Arby's and my friend ordered the chicken tenders and I had a beef cheddar melt. We sat in at the resturaunt enjoying our food. My friend started complaining that she felt faint and hot, But I didn't think much of it because she jokes around alot about that kind of stuff. So we finished our food and all of a sudden my friend started screaming and she turned red.. Then she spontaneously combusted! I couldn't believe it. Right there infront of me. I'll never forget that day. And i'm spreading my story everywhere. Thank you and god bless you:)

amber t. said...

Your weird that could never happen....