Burger King Tries Its Take on a Hugely Popular Menu Item

Everyone will like this Burger King menu addition — no bones about it.

While many burger joints tend to stick to the classic burger and fries combo, some fast-food businesses are curious about what else customers might order if given the chance.

After all, while McDonald’s has long been known for classic burgers like the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, it’s made a killing on its chicken nuggets and ice cream cones (if the machines are functioning, that is).

That’s why fast-food brands often do test market runs on non-staple foods they think might work. Yum! Brands’  (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report Taco Bell is testing out a tostado made with a giant Cheez-It as we speak. And no, that is not a joke. Let’s not forget that it made a taco shell out of Doritos that is popular to this day.

While most of the time this approach results in novelty foods, there are times where the efforts may stick. And it seems like Restaurant Brands International’s  (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report Burger King is ready to try something new that hasn’t worked for competing chains, but it’s taking the chance anyway.

What’s New At Burger King?

While chicken itself is not a stretch at Burger King as the chain currently offers both chicken nuggets and chicken fries, one thing that American Burger King fans have not had is wings.

However, Japanese Burger Kings have just debuted them for a limited run. Called Yamitsuki Smoky Chicken (or “addictive smoky chicken”), they went on sale on June 24 at all participating Burger King Japan locations.

According to Burger King, these wings feature a smoky sauce that uses the aroma of applewood and hickory, blended with seven types of spices.

They can be ordered in five and 10-piece varieties, with a cost of 500 yen ($3.67 U.S.) for the five piece and 1000 yen ($7.34 U.S.) for the ten-piece.

Burger King Japan is not the only international Burger King restaurant to sell chicken wings. Its South Africa location sells what it calls a “spiced chicken wing,” and Switzerland locations sell King Wings. Locations in India also sell both grilled and fried varieties.

Why Doesn’t Burger King Have Chicken Wings in The U.S.?

There are likely a few reasons Burger King doesn’t sell wings in the U.S., but one of the major ones is probably cost. Chicken wings have been one of many foods that’s become more costly due to inflation, which is why chicken wing chains like Wingstop have tried selling chicken thighs instead.

It also could be because of the lack of success Burger King’s competitors found when dipping their toes into the market. McDonald’s tried it with Mighty Wings back in 1999, which was a limited item that many customers felt was overpriced (for context, a 10-pack was $8.99 at the time). 

By 2014, McDonald’s was selling its chicken wing stock at a reduced price to get rid of an excess–10 million pounds, to be exact.

Taco Bell also did a week-long chicken wings stint back in January 2022 where it sold a 5-piece box of bone-in wings coated in a queso-flavored seasoning and served with a zesty Ranch sauce. They vanished one week later and have never been seen since, much to the dismay of some.

Although, maybe it’s for the best that not many people got to them.

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