National French Fry Day: The Power of Fries!


Fries pack a punch

Heavy hitters in terms of consumer appeal and innovation potential (with endless possibilities for sauces and toppings), it’s no wonder fries have an entire day dedicated to them! With National French Fry Day coming up on July 13, consider how fries can be an operator’s secret weapon for drumming up consumer interest and growing check size. Fries can make innovation simple for back-of-house and craveable for the consumer!

Appetizers & sides are also the top category consumers are interested in seeing as limited-time offers ("LTOs") (Datassential’s LTOs Keynote Report, May 2022). Don’t forget to promote innovation on social media – leverage the momentum of food holidays like National French Fry Day through platforms like Instagram or TikTok. After all, 61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations on social media (Shopify, 2022). Check out our last issue of FryDay Insider for more social media inspiration to draw in consumers!

Datassential LTOs Keynote, May 2022

Consumers clearly have an appetite for app & side LTOs, and what better format to innovate with than their favorite food? With strong appeal and high versatility, fries have plenty of runway to drive traffic through craveable applications loaded with sauces and toppings ranging from simple to trend-forward.

Fries Outperform Other Apps/Sides

Fries consistently garnered higher purchase interest than other appetizers & sides over the last 8 years, with over half of consumers interested in purchasing a la carte fry LTOs in 2022, on average.

PURCHASE INTEREST: average % of consumers interested in purchasing limited-time offer (LTO) types, Datassential SCORES YE Feb 2023

Loaded & Topped for the Win!

For National French Fry Day, think craveable sauces and cheese pairings to create loaded and topped concepts consumers love. Take inspiration from these chain introductions which combine cheesy sauces with quality fries to create high-scoring concepts in terms of consumer purchase interest.

Datassential SCORES

 top performer for item type (>90th percentile)

 above average for item type (70th to 90th percentile)

Appeal-Boosting Sauces

The below sauces are featured across apps & sides that score highest with consumers for purchase interest. Consider sauces like these that may already be on-hand and how they can help create appealing fry dishes.

PURCHASE INTEREST: average % of consumers interested in purchasing apps/sides featuring…, Datassential SCORES YE Feb 2023

On-hand innovation

Fry trends incorporate sauces that you may already have or are easy to whip up. Consider these strategies and sauces for innovation without the need to add SKUs.

*Growth on fry appetizers/sides over the past 4 years in Datassential MenuTrends, YE Dec 2022

More mashup trends

Fries are growing with classic comfort food formats as toppings and filling ingredients. Fries grew 22% as a pizza topping over the past 4 years, and 74% as burrito ingredients (Datassential MenuTrends YE Dec 2022). Consider a loaded fries pizza with bacon, ranch, and mozzarella, or the California burrito which features fries, carne asada, cheese, and pico de gallo.

Loaded fries grow check sizes, too

Did you know that loaded fries can justify a higher price point? Fry apps & sides with “loaded” in the name command a price that is more than three dollars higher than fries overall (at QSR, too!). Balance out inflation-based price increases by loading up fry dishes with on-hand, trend-forward sauces and cheese, growing the check while adding value for consumers.

MEDIAN PRICE of app/entrée fry dishes with “loaded” in name vs. overall, Datassential MenuTrends, YE Mar 2023

Celebrate fries!

Fries are a great choice for getting consumers excited while keeping innovation simple for back-of-house. With endless potential for creativity through on-hand (and on-trend) sauces and mashups, fry innovation doesn’t have to mean more SKUs. Plus, loaded fries can boost check sizes and justify inflation-driven price increases. All of this means a win-win situation for both the operator and the consumer – certainly cause for celebration this upcoming National French Fry Day on July 13!