ST. LOUIS -- As restaurants scramble to satisfy the health-conscious, Hardee's repackaged an American breakfast staple on Monday by rolling out the equivalent of an omelet in a bowl and touting its low-carb benefits.
The St. Louis-based chain of about 2,100 fast-food restaurants said its $2.99, 20-ounce plastic "breakfast bowl" is an ensemble of eggs, breakfast meats and cheddar cheese with a combined six grams of carbohydrates.
Hardee's downplayed the downside - 620 calories, 50 grams of fat per serving.
"A particular traditional American breakfast tends to be high in fat and calories, and this is no exception," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing for Hardee's and its sister 1,000-site Carl Jr.'s chain, which plans to offer the breakfast bowl later this month.
Jayne Hurley, senior nutritionist for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, countered that consumers should consider fresh fruit, grains and fat-free dairy products for breakfast, rather than starting the day with roughly one-third of the average daily intake of calories.
"Breakfast is easy, so why blow it on this low-carb bowl?" she asked. "I think you're kidding yourself if you think a low-carb breakfast bowl with 600 calories isn't going to end up on your belly and backside, not to say what saturated fat will do for your arteries."
On the Net:
CKE Restaurants Inc.: http://www.ckr.com
Hardee's Food Systems: http://www.hardees.com