With great fanfare, Burger King recently introduced “Satisfries” — a new crinkle-cut french fry that it claims is much lower in fat and calories:
And they are also running commercials making the same claims:
If you look a little closer, you will see there is one tiny asterisk after the 40% less fat claim, and two asterisks after the 30% less [sic] calories claim. The fine print in the commercial is virtually unreadable.
They are not actually comparing the new Satisfries to their own regular fries as most people would believe, but rather to McDonald’s regular fries.
While Burger King’s claims are roughly mathematically correct when you compare equal size portions of their Satisfries to McDonald’s regular fries, BK’s claims exaggerate the calorie and fat reductions when you compare the actual sizes of products you can buy in each restaurant.
Comparing the actual smallest portion you can buy of BK’s Satisfries, which weighs 87 grams, with McDonald’s small size fries which weighs only 71 grams, the BK Satisfries has 27% less fat (not 40% less) and 17% fewer calories (not 30%).
But how do Satisfries compare to BK’s own regular fries, since most people hearing the claim will believe that is the comparison being made?
When you compare the smallest size of BK’s Satisfries (87 grams) with their own virtually equal-sized regular fries (89 grams), Satisfies are only 20% less fatty (not the 40% seemingly claimed), and have 21% fewer calories, not 30%.