March 24/Carpinteria, Cal./Food & Beverage Close-Up -- Carl's Jr. and Hardee's announced a new line of Charbroiled Turkey Burgers. The sister brands said they are the first fast-food chains to offer turkey burgers on a national basis.

The new line of Charbroiled Turkey Burgers was created in collaboration with the editors of Men's Health and the creators of the bestselling Eat This, Not That! brand to offer indulgent but better-for-you food "swaps" for some of the chains' higher-calorie beef burger options. Each of the three Charbroiled Turkey Burgers being offered at both chains has less than 500 calories.

"Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are famous for their big, decadent, sit-down restaurant quality burgers, many of which are made with 100% Black Angus beef," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. "But more and more customers today are looking for great-tasting burgers that are better for them and/or are available with a beef alternative. So, we teamed up with the creators of Eat This, Not That! to develop a line of delicious -- and still indulgent -- Charbroiled Turkey Burgers, with toppings like guacamole, sauteed mushrooms or grilled pineapple. Ironically, several of our burgers made the "Not That!" list in the past, so we're happy to now feature some products worthy of the "Eat This!" side. And, because we use quarter-pound turkey patties and we charbroil them, they are still very filling and taste great."

To create the burgers, CKE's menu development team worked hand-in-hand with Matt Goulding co-author of the Eat This, Not That!book series, according to the company.

"Menu items from both Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have often landed on our 'worst foods' list because of their high calorie counts," said David Zinczenko, co-author of the Eat This, Not That! series and editor-in-chief of Men's Health. "So, we were excited to work with them to develop this new line of Charbroiled Turkey Burgers. This opportunity shows our brand's impact on the fast-food industry and how Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are doing their part by providing healthier options."

"We totally buy into the Eat This, Not That! philosophy of making better-for-you food choices that are also still delicious and indulgent because, human nature being what it is, those are the kind of foods people will be more likely to continue to eat time and time again," Haley continued. "We could have opted to promote carrot sticks and apple slices like some of our competitors but people just don't buy them. When they want a burger, they want a burger, and now they can get great ones that just happen to be better for them, too. That's a trade-off that's easy for anyone to make."

The launch of the new Charbroiled Turkey Burgers will also be supported with TV, radio and print ads developed by CKE's new advertising agency of record, Los Angeles-based David & Goliath. David & Goliath's ads for the brand will feature Gizem Memic, the reigning Miss Turkey from the Miss Universe pageant and will also debut the brand's new campaign tagline: "Just the way it is."

From the March 24, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News