Surprise Twist: SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Celebrate Eight Years of Global Growth
Oct 26, 2021
When Simplot brought its frozen french fry to market in 1953, it was an innovation of historic proportions, one that launched the category of frozen potatoes and helped catapult the fortunes of fast-food pioneers.
Today though, french fry innovation typically comes in smaller increments: a new flavor here, a new batter there. By comparison, new cuts are much less common due to the challenges of manufacturing at scale.
There are only so many ways you can cut a potato, right?
Most people are content with incremental improvement. But for Simplot engineer Bruce Walker, the sheer difficulty of coming up with a genuinely novel fry—one you could produce in multi-million-pound volumes—was a challenge he could not resist. A methodical, soft-spoken man, Walker is a fixture at the Simplot Technical Center in Caldwell, Idaho, quietly, relentlessly pursuing “the next big thing.”
In 2009, his tenacity and creativity finally paid off. Walker had perfected a fry the world had never seen: a twisted potato wedge.
Four years later, Simplot launched his invention as Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries.
What’s so great about Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries?
For starters, nothing compares to SIDEWINDERS™ Fries when it comes to creating high-impact, Instagram-worthy presentations. These graceful twists of premium potato turn heads wherever they’re served. And, given the popularity of fries, serving a unique, memorable cut can create a critical competitive advantage.
SIDEWINDERS™ Fries also offer excellent plate coverage: it takes fewer strips to make a generous serving, enhancing their profitability. And their outstanding heat retention and crispness make them a natural for delivery and takeout.
In addition to serving as a great side, operators have found them an ideal base for signature shareable appetizers and entrées—even desserts. From a menu standpoint, the creative possibilities are endless for lunch, dinner, breakfast or snacks.
Fast growth around the world
When SIDEWINDERS™ Fries hit the market in 2013, they were an instant hit with operators and patrons.
Enthusiasm for these unique fries soon spread to international markets, including China, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand. Just as in the U.S., the ease with which SIDEWINDERS™ Fries integrated into local cultures and diverse menu types helped spur healthy sales.
The momentum continues with new flavors and a smaller alternative
The original SIDEWINDERS™ Fries came in Bent Arm Ale® brand craft beer batter, offering the rich, amber color and light caramel and molasses flavor notes of a batter made with true craft beer. Simplot expanded on its success in 2015, adding three new flavor profiles to the lineup:
- Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Featuring Conquest® Brand Batter: An unseasoned clear coated version with additional hold time and full potato flavor.
- Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Featuring SeasonedCRISP® Brand JR Buffalos® Batter: Lasting crunch with bold color and a spicy zing inspired by buffalo wing sauce.
- Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Featuring SeasonedCRISP® Brand Smokey BBQ Batter: Rustic, smokey flavor and a hearty crunch. Bakeable, too!
As operators’ needs have changed, Simplot continues to adapt SIDEWINDERS™ Fries to meet new demands and market segments. In 2021, two smaller “Junior Cut” SIDEWINDERS™ fries will join the SIDEWINDERS™ Fries family. Perfect for quick-serve operations, they fit nicely into fry cartons and other QSR containers for a one-of-a-kind fry experience. They’re available in two flavors:
- Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Junior Cut Featuring Conquest® Delivery+® Brand Batter:
An unseasoned SIDEWINDERS™ Fry in a fun, smaller size, featuring Conquest® Delivery+® brand batter with industry-leading 40+ minute hold time.
- Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries Junior Cut Featuring SeasonedCRISP® Delivery+® Brand Batter:
A savory-seasoned SIDEWINDERS™ Fry in a fun, smaller size, featuring SeasonedCRISP® Delivery+® brand batter with 30+ minute hold time.
Thanks to the unique Simplot Delivery+™ batter, customers can reheat both new SIDEWINDERS™ Junior Cut fries back to crisp, hot perfection with just 15-20 seconds in the microwave, adding to their appeal as a delivery and takeout solution. Yet they’re versatile enough to serve as everyday, dine-in fries, too.
A bright future with a twist
Since their 2013 debut, the success of Simplot SIDEWINDERS™ Fries has shown no signs of waning. With new flavors and two sizes, Bruce Walker’s brainchild continues to capture the hearts of restaurant patrons and operators worldwide. If you're wondering why, we have only one suggestion: try them and see for yourself!
The foregoing trademarks are owned by the J.R. Simplot Company. SIDEWINDERS™ and the stylized SIDEWINDERS™ “S” logo are trademarks of the J.R. Simplot Company. Our uniquely cut SIDEWINDERS™ Fries are proprietary and patented under one or more patents.