Wendy's Taunts `Yo Beef's Still Frozen' in Twitter Burger Battle

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(Bloomberg) -- Wendy’s Co. has long touted its fresh beef as a selling point. The fast-food company is now defending that turf with stinging tweets and other social media jabs aimed at McDonald’s Corp.

“TFW yo beef’s still frozen,” Wendy’s says in one tweet. “Happy #NationalFrozenFoodDay to you for all the frozen beef that’s sticking around in your cheeseburgers,” it taunts in another. And on the Wendy’s website, there’s this: “Unfreezing beef is uncool.”

McDonald’s announced in March that it was switching to fresh beef for its Quarter Pounder and specialty Signature Crafted sandwiches at most U.S. locations. Wendy’s responded with a marketing campaign that has impressed Stifel analyst Chris O’Cull.

“Wendy’s has punched well above its weight on social media and has already begun to display the shortcomings of McDonald’s fresh beef,” O’Cull wrote in a research note to clients Monday.

Last week, Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said on the Wendy’s earnings call that they have watched the eight markets where McDonald’s is testing fresh beef Quarter Pounder and “haven’t seen an impact really either way, positive or negative.” He said the attention brings “a big spotlight back” to Wendy’s burgers and gives the company a platform to continue to promote its message.

At least one analyst predicts that the switch to fresh beef at McDonald’s will benefit the Golden Arches at the expense of rivals. Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Michael Halen wrote this week that the "upgrade will allow it to accelerate U.S. share gains.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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