Maybe canola didn't make it as a crop in the Midwest, at least not in the late '80-s and early '90s, but Dow AgroSciences ups its demand for canola each year. Most of the canola used to make canola oil products comes from Canada at the moment. The Indianapolis-based chemical and traits giant turns canola into zero trans fat oil, marketed as Omega-9 Canola Oil.
Within the past few days, Dow AgroSciences announced two major new customers for the products. Both Carl's Jr. And Hardee's restaurants are converting to Omega-9 Canola Oil from Dow AgroSciences, according to restaurant chain management. While there are two brands, they both fall under one umbrella- CKE Restaurants, Carpinteria, Cal. CKE operates 3,000 locations in 43 states and 13 countries, some under other brand names such as Green Burrito and Red Burrito. The company reports there are currently 1,087 Carl's Jr. locations, and 1,906 Hardee's restaurants.
Any way you stack it, that's a lot of hamburger and French fires, and a major buyer for Dow's new oil product. CKE isn't the first chain to convert, but rather another in a string of what's becoming a bevy of restaurant chains converting to one brand or another of trans-fat free oils. Oil made from Vistive soybeans, marketed by Monsanto, also competes in this market.
Dow AgroSciences claims its 'next generation' canola oil has the lowest-saturated fat levels amongst the new trans fat alternatives. It also sports a high level of heart-healthy omega-9 monosaturated fat, Dow spokespersons report. Using the new canola-oil derived product will allow CKE restaurants to eliminate trans fat and reduce saturated fats in their fried menu items, Dow's people say.
The conversion will be in place by January '08. CKE officials report they evaluated several alternatives before opting to go with the Dow canola oil product. They were concerned that the product chosen had to both be healthy and still meet taste requirements.
News of this new client adds to the growing canola-oil business for the –Indianapolis –based Dow AgroSciences, located in northwest Indianapolis.