During Lent, Fast-Food Chains Fish For Catholics

Easter's coming up — a special time of year for fast-food ads pitching their fish offerings. Arby's, Burger King and regional chains like Carl's Jr. are trying to net hungry Catholic customers who've given up meat for Lent.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Gone Fishing.

Easter is coming up: a special time of year for fast food ads pitching their fish food.

(SOUNDBITE OF FAST FOOD ADS)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: A meaty cut of Alaskan white fish.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: A chicken sandwich and a premium Alaskan fish sandwich.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: A codfish sandwich at Carl's Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #4: What about this fish?

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

What about their fish? Arby's, Burger King and regional chains like Carl's Jr. are trying to net hungry Catholic customers who've given up meat for Lent.

INSKEEP: McDonald's usual Lenten fare is Filet-O-Fish. But with floundering sales, the company is highlighting its new fishy nuggets called Fish McBites and a singing wall bass to sell them.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #5: (Singing) Fishy fishy. Fish, fish, bites, McBites. Fish, fish, fish bites McBites.

MONTAGNE: Right. A little catchy, I guess.

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: People aren't taking the bait. They haven't made much of a sales splash for McDonald's.

INSKEEP: I can't imagine why not. If a fish sings at you from a plaque on the wall, don't you think oh, I want to eat that now?

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: I'm there. Yes, to slice it up.

(LAUGHTER)

INSKEEP: If your food is singing you may not be interested in that food. Anyway.

MONTAGNE: Well, that is the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

INSKEEP: And I'm Steve Inskeep.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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