Chick-fil-A has been on a healthification kick ever since beginning its coast-to-coast takeover (which, if you haven’t heard, has run into a bit of a snag in New York). The chain debuted grilled chicken last year, and it just unveiled tortilla soup in December. It looks like the next step is a big one involving kale, fast food’s go-to item when it wants something “fresh” to also convey that it’s “keeping up with the times.” While places like McDonald’s and Starbucks have messed with brassicas in regional markets, Chick-fil-A will be the first to roll out a kale dish nationwide, starting January 18.
For 94 cents, customers can sub the “superfood side” for fries, or buy five or eight ounces of it. The dish has chopped kale and broccolini, tossed with maple vinaigrette and topped with dried cherries and a mix of roasted walnuts, almonds, and pecans. It also packs 140 calories and seven grams of fat, about a third of what a medium order of waffle fries contains.
The downside for Chick-fil-A traditionalists is that it will replace coleslaw, a menu staple since the chain opened in 1946, because the chain feels the menu’s now big enough that it needs to be zero-sum, possibly from seeing what happened when the menu at McDonald’s got bloated with 121 items. “It’s a bittersweet day for us because coleslaw has been on the menu for a long, long time,” one of Chick-fil-A’s VPs tells Business Insider. “But its popularity has waned over the years … and the days of adding things to the menu without taking things away are behind us.”