The fast-food chain has been making changes to catch up to McDonald’s and Wendy’s.
Burger King has fallen into third place in the burger wars behind market leader McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report and Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company (The) Report.
That’s a sad situation for a company that was once the Pepsi to McDonald’s Coke, the clear number two in a two-player race. Basically, in the 80s and 90s, McDonald’s was the stodgy incumbent sticking to its tried and true menu while Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report Burger King innovated and tried to shake up the fast-food burger formula.
It almost seems silly when you think of the weird menu items fast-food chains try now, but it was daring in the 1980s when Burger King added its “long” chicken parmesan, an ill-advised veal version, and even a ham and cheese sandwich. This was before chicken nuggets had made their way to fast-food menus when anything new seemed novel.
There was a day when the Croissan’wich, a breakfast sandwich served on a croissant, seemed incredibly daring. Now, however, Burger King has lost its way and has been leaning into leveraging its iconic Whopper sandwich to reinvigorate its brand.
The company has added so many limited-edition Whoppers to its menu it’s hard for fans to keep track. This has included legitimate ideas like the Whopper Melts line to novelties like the Angry Whopper and a short-lived line of truly bizarre Whoppers aimed at pregnant women.
Burger King has not fallen into third place for lack of trying new ideas and now it has another one — a true mystery — on its menu.
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Burger King Wants to Keep You Guessing
It seems counterintuitive to sell customers something that they don’t know what they’re getting. People may like mysteries, but that’s not generally true when it comes to food. Nobody wants a cheeseburger with “mystery sauce,” but that same logic does not appear to apply to beverages.
Or, at least Burger King doesn’t think that’s the case as it has added a mystery frozen beverage to its menu, Chewboom reported.
“Burger King has been spotted serving a new green-colored Fanta Mystery Flavor called Frozen What The Fanta. According to sources, the new mystery flavor will replace Frozen Minute Maid Strawberry Lemonade in restaurants nationwide starting July 18, 2022,” the website reported.
The new flavor, whatever it might be, is part of a larger Fanta promotion.
“Just this week, Fanta announced the launch of new “What The Fanta” mystery flavors, where the soda brand offers a variety of mystery flavors in different formats across retail stores and restaurants nationwide (like BK) – including 20-oz bottles, Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain dispensers and frozen formulations,” Chewboom shared.
Keep Shaking Up the Burger King Menu
Burger King needs to do something to change its fortunes. It has lost relevance in its battle with McDonald’s and Wendy’s. The chain has suffered trying to build an identity where it’s not the plucky number two offering a higher end product — that’s really Wendy’s. Instead, the chain has become simply another choice in a very crowded market.
These are problems that Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose CIl addressed during his company’s first-quarter earnings call.
“Turning now to Burger King U.S. 2022 marks the starting point for Burger Kings multi-year plan to reclaim the flame. Last quarter, Tom walked us through some of the critical near term initiatives the team has focused on to enhance the overall guests experience, advance the brand’s growth and drive long term sustainable sales. Though the benefits of many of these initiatives are targeted to start taking effect in the back half of the year, we’re encouraged to see some progress this quarter and want to share some highlights,” he said.
Her laid out some of the brand’s strategy during the call.
“First, we’ve made good progress in our efforts to modernize and reposition the brand,” he said. “…This quarter, we demonstrated our balanced approach to menu innovation and value for money while keeping our core equity the Whopper top of mind.”