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Burger King bringing back chicken fries

CHICAGO - Burger King customers have been heard.

The chain is bringing back chicken fries, the breaded and fried chicken strips served in a fry-style box, after consumers took to social media to request the item, Alex Macedo, president of North America for the Miami-based company, said in a phone interview. Customers complained on Facebook and Twitter when they were taken off the menu in 2012.

“We underestimated the cult following that the product had,” he said. “There’s a big opportunity for us to bring it back.”

Burger King Worldwide Inc. has been trying to boost sales by introducing new products as competition among U.S. fast-food chains intensifies. McDonald’s Corp. recently began selling a $2 jalapeno double burger, while Wendy’s Co. in June brought back pretzel buns.

Burger King first sold chicken fries in 2005. Now they’ll be sold for about 12 weeks, or while supplies last. A pack of nine pieces is $2.89. Burger King is selling the breaded chicken as beef costs are poised to rise further amid mounting U.S. supply concerns.

Cattle inventories as of July 1 fell to the lowest for the date since records began in 1973, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. Retail ground beef costs rose to all-time highs in June, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

Burger King is always monitoring commodity costs and trying to maximize profit for franchisees, Macedo said.

“There’s a big opportunity for chicken,” he said. “It’s going to be an ever-growing part of our menu.”

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