Loaded fries and poutine offerings on the rise in Canada

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Move over ketchup — Canadian restaurants are changing the way customers eat fries.

According to data from Chicago-based Technomic, fries are more than just a side for burgers —giving operators another medium to flex their culinary creativity. The humble spud is being topped with everything from spicy peppers to indulgent proteins to specialty sauces.

Technomic reports menu mentions of loaded fries grew by 12.5 per cent and poutine is up 22 per cent — both in the latest two-year period in Canada — and a number of popular chain restaurants are hopping on the topped fries bandwagon.

Last year, Wendy’s Canada introduced the Ghost Pepper Fries, a spicy dish featuring fries topped with ghost pepper sauce, fresh-diced jalapeños and cheese. Technomic’s MenuMonitor data shows the popularity of spicy flavours is up 55.6 per cent in appetizer fries in the latest two-year period.

The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro is offering Netflix & Chili Fritos Fries topped with bacon chili, shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions and Fritos corn chips. Smoke’s Poutinerie introduced an Easter-inspired creation of fries topped with gravy, cheese curds, bacon and deep-fried Cadbury Crème Eggs. A one-day offering, this unique dish resulted in strong internet and word-of-mouth marketing.

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