A&W: Zero trans fat (well, almost), 100 per cent Canadian

It’s been a long time since I sunk my teeth into a fast-food combo of a burger and fries – mostly since I would like to live until I’m very, very old. But a little piece of news about the A&W burger chain caught my eye today: it is the first Canada-wide hamburger chain to offer zero (or very much reduced) levels of transfat in its food. There are none of the artery-clogging trans fats in its fries any more, and its onion rings have only 5 per cent of the stuff left.

Of course, there’s still a whole lot of the regular kind of fat on their menu, so I wouldn’t recommend those still on their new-year’s resolution health kick to go there. But at least it’s a start for the fast-food giant.

But the thing that really caught my eye in the story is that A&W is based right here in Vancouver. And after a little research, I discovered that the A&W chain is 100 per cent Canadian-owned and operated. Who knew?

Now, when tourists come by asking me to name a single large Canadian company that isn’t actually owned by non-Canucks somewhere up the chain, I’ll have an answer.

Of course, now we can’t just blame the Yanks for clogging our hearts with globs of fat from their tasty Mc-treats and King-size sandwiches all these years. You’ve got to take some of the blame along with the glory.

4 Comments so far

  1. Chris (unregistered) on January 4th, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

    I was all excited for a while there. Especially when I read it started in Winnipeg.

    I don’t want to dampen the Canadian cheerleading, but the Canadian stores were actually part of the American A&W chain until 1972 (source Wikipedia ). They’re completely separate now and 100% Canadian owned, but it’s not a home-grown success story.


  2. Ryan Cousineau (unregistered) on January 5th, 2007 @ 10:13 am

    What about Bombardier and MacDonald Dettwiler? Those are the two that I recall right away, but in media you have Global (or whatever the Aspers call the parent corporation), and many more.

    Besides, public corporation ownership often amounts to “majority-owned by pension funds” when you trace it back. I’m not sure how much where the corporate office is really matters.


  3. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 4:10 pm

    I’d credit Tim Horton’s as being more of a Canadian success story in foods. In other areas CanWest/Global as Ryan pointed out. Also let’s not forget Conrad Black and his empire even though he became British because he didn’t get along with the Liberals.

    Don’t forget the CBC which is fairly well respected in international media circles, and I’d say rivals anything the Americans have in terms of news gathering outlets, except perhaps with a few exceptions of their newspapers like the NY Times.

    Don’t forget companies like Research in Motion which makes the BlackBerry and comes out of the University of Waterloo and is still housed in Ontario. It’s pretty much leading the email -> cell market right now.


  4. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on January 7th, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    I forgot to mention that I know Timmy’s is now owned by Wendy’s. But it’s still a Canadian success story, and maybe because it’s now owned by an American but still really only successful in Canada it’s a much more typical Canadian story.



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