Off With Its Head! The Pretzel Bun Is Dead!

by William White | November 27, 2013 11:01 am

Wendy’s (WEN[1]) has given its pretzel bun — one of the fast-food chain’s best-selling, limited-time offers — the axe.

WEN stock[2]Wendy’s placed a lot of hype around its pretzel bun sandwiches following their July launch, and even extended the offer to its chicken sandwiches after its initial promotion ended. So why is the chain killing off one of its best promotions?

According to Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch, the chain is killing off the pretzel bun because adding more items means adding more inventory, reports Businessweek[3]. And Wendy’s is offering another item so important that it apparently warranted offing the pretzel bun.

Namely, Wendy’s new brioche bun.

For those unfamiliar with the brioche — and given Wendy’s commercial dedicated solely to nailing down the pronunciation[4], it’s likely there’s a few of us — Baking Bites[5] breaks it down:

“Brioche is a type of bread that comes up often in recipes, particularly recipes for bread pudding[6] and french toast where you might want to add some extra richness to the finished product. But what sets brioche apart from, say, regular sandwich bread? Brioche is an enriched French bread, meaning that the dough contains a high proportion of fat it in. Adding ingredients like milk and oil will enrich a dough. In the case of brioche, the dough is enriched with lots of butter and egg yolks. This gives the bread a very fine, very soft crumb and an almost flaky texture, in addition to turning the crust a dark golden color after baking.”

But is a brioche really worth ending one of the chain’s best promotions? Well, maybe, maybe not, but the question assumes the curtain has permanently fallen on the pretzel bun, and that might not be the case.

It’s entirely possible that Wendy’s is giving its pretzel bun the same treatment that McDonald’s (MCD[7]) gives its McRib: a limited appearance at least once a year. Fast-food promotions like the McRib, Shamrock Shake and others usually provide short bursts of renewed interest in the rest of a chain’s offerings as well. So while it might not make sense to have pretzel buns around all year, Wendy’s could benefit from an annual cameo.

Even if that always leaves us wanting more.

  1. WEN:
  2. [Image]:
  3. reports Businessweek:
  4. Wendy’s commercial dedicated solely to nailing down the pronunciation:
  5. Baking Bites:
  6. bread pudding:
  7. MCD:

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