Wendy’s New Product Team Honored with Hot ‘N Juicy Awards

Wendy’s is being honored with two industry awards for product innovation, with the national introduction of two new hamburgers: Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers and The W.

COEX National Culinary/Operations Innovation Award

The team received the COEX National Culinary/Operations Innovation Award for the launch of Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers. The award was presented by IFMA (International Foodservice Manufacturers Association) at a recent ceremony in Chicago. Gerard Lewis, SVP of Culinary Development, and Lori Estrada, SVP of Menu Innovation, accepted the award.

The COEX Innovation Awards recognize national and regional chains that are shaping the restaurant industry through innovation in two areas: Culinary/Operations and Marketing/Service. Two national awards and two regional awards are presented in each category.

In 2009 Wendy’s decided to reinvent the hamburger line for the first time since Wendy’s opened in 1969. Under the direction of Lewis and Estrada, the New Product team started from bun up, looking at every part of the hamburger to see how it could be improved. Each component of the product was reviewed, from the grind of the fresh ground beef patty, to the size of tomato slice, the cut of the pickles and even the butter toasted bun. The result was a new premium cheeseburger line that drove positive customer traffic and sales for Wendy’s in 2011.

Wendy's New Product Team Honored with Hot 'N Juicy Awards

Lori Estrada and Gerard Lewis accepted the IFMA COEX Award. On hand for the presentation were (left to right) Mike Sokol of Sargento Foods, Joe Colligan of McCain Foods, Mike Crowley of ConAgra/Lamb Weston, Lori Estrada and Gerard Lewis, Randy Wieland of McCain Foods and Joe Bybel of McCain Foods.

MenuMasters Award

Wendy’s will receive the MenuMasters Award for Menu/Line Extension for The W Cheeseburger. Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) will present the award at its 15th annual event in Chicago on May 5.

The awards honor outstanding menu development plus excellence in foodservice research and development. The winners are selected by the editorial board of NRN.

In its award announcement, NRN said in part, “Cheeseburgers are on a roll at the 6,600-unit chain. Following the launch of Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburger last October, Wendy’s debuted the W Cheeseburger in November. This mid-priced sandwich fills the price-point gap between Wendy’s 99-cent Everyday Value Menu burger and the premium Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburger.”

Wendy’s Gerard Lewis said, “I’m really proud of our team. They really stepped up and recreated a classic with Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy Cheeseburgers, and followed with The W, an an extension of our hamburger line. These are products that Dave Thomas would be proud of and that our customer love. This is definitely a team award.”

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About The Wendy’s Company

The Wendy’s Company is the world’s third largest quick-service hamburger company. The Wendy’s system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the U.S. and 27 other countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For our brand website, visit www.wendys.com.