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Random Food Report: Fish Tales

Mmmm.

1. Consumers have been waiting since 1962 for a non-fried fish sandwich. Or at least that what Hardee's seems to believe. The fast food chain just launched a "Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich" supported by a racy ad campaign starring swimsuit model Nina Agdal.

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Behind the scenes.

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The new product seems to stray outside the Hardee's comfort zone - targeting guys with alluring items like the breakfast Ribeye Steak, Egg & Cheese Biscuit - by positioning the sandwich as healthier than its less charbroiled brethren like the Filet-O-Fish and the Burger King Big Fish Sandwich. Presumably, the bikini babe will distract guys from any such ideas. The charbroiled preparation may also open up a new market for Hardee's, according to CMO Brad Haley. "Women who will connect the dots between Ms. Agdal eating a char-broiled sandwich and having a bikini-ready body," he says.

It must be a gender thing, because our first thought when we see a hot girl stuffing a tartar-sauce laden sandwich in her mouth is not about how it could help us look better in a bikini.

2. According to Zagat blogger Kelly Dobkin, the new McDonald's Fish McBites taste like . . . fish, or what McDonald's describes as "white, flaky Alaskan pollock."

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Bonus 3D Review:

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3. We recommend snapping up these fishy delicacies while you can. According to the National Resources Defense Council,"pollock populations are now at their lowest levels in over 20 years."

4. So after we trawl out all the pollock, what's next? Our money is on lobster, which should be more affordable for restaurants in part because the Chinese have stopped using so much of it in Year of the Dragon wedding celebrations.

5. Then again, who can tell the difference between cod and lobster?

Previous fish fraud investigations:
* Boston Globe 2011
* NBC4 Southern California 2012
* Consumer Reports 2011
* Nature 2004

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Luke Chen is our pseudononymous man on food. He welcomes your comments.



Permalink

Posted on February 27, 2013


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