Carl’s Jr. is used to superlatives like “scuzziest” and “scariest,” but its new all-natural burger will make it, perhaps unbelievably, the first big chain to offer the growing legion of picky, healthier eaters an antibiotic-, steroid-, and hormone-free organic burger. It will roll out at all 1,150 locations.
At $6.99 for the double, it will be the menu’s most expensive quarter-pounder. The chain says it imports meat from Australia — where much of what is sold domestically as “grass-fed” beef comes from these days, Chipotle’s included — because otherwise they’d completely wipe out the America’s stock, a problem that sounds a lot like the one Arby’s faced this summer when its Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich was sucking up 3,000 head of cattle every day. “Our objective,” CEO Andy Puzder says, “has never been to tell people what to eat, but to serve them what they want to eat.” What the Carl’s Jr. people want, apparently, is organic burgers in a 760-calorie drive-through form. Of course, since calling an unnatural thing “natural” these days is a one-way ticket to a lawsuit, Carl’s Jr. is reassuring that the all-natural fits the USDA’s definition.