Burger King is offering its first-ever
The addition of the turkey burger reportedly makes Burger King the first of the nation’s three largest burger chains to join CKE Restaurants as a large-scale purveyor of the sandwich. As a report by the Associated Press noted, neither Wendy’s nor McDonald’s has acknowledged offering a turkey burger nationwide, making Burger King the first chain with coast-to-coast reach to do so.
Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Chicago-based Technomic Inc., said Burger King’s decision to offer a turkey burger ought to leverage the sandwich’s popularity with more Americans looking for more healthful offerings, even at quick-service restaurants.
“Overall, this creates an effort toward a more healthful positioning for Burger King’s products,” Tristano said. “It not only may appeal to those looking for a different type of burger or a more healthful alternative, but it also might build up the brand’s reputation as a place to find it.”
CKE Restaurants' Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains introduced charbroiled turkey burgers with the brands’ signature racy commercials in March 2011. The turkey burgers are now permanent fixtures on both chains’ menus.
Turkey burgers also have differentiated the menus of upscale, regional chains like Burger 21, Tom & Eddie’s, and Bagger Dave’s, but to date, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. have been the only brands with a footprint of more than 1,000 stores to offer such a sandwich systemwide.
Burger King’s sandwich, which carries a suggested retail price of $3.99, features a charbroiled turkey patty, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise.
Also on the new menu, available during spring, are the Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger, Loaded Tater Tots, the Chipotle
In addition, Burger King is offering a small latte — available in plain, vanilla, mocha or caramel — for $1 this week instead of the suggested starting price of $2.29.
The chain also will offer a $2.99 veggie burger, but Tristano speculated that a turkey burger is positioned much better for attracting more people.
“When you think of veggie burgers, they’re not going to be that appealing, but more and more Americans are eating turkey burgers,” he said. “This gives them something they’re at least accustomed to, and many people just aren’t going to try a veggie burger. There, you’re down to just vegetarians. This is a nice alternative.”
He also noted that this whole new slate of menu items fits the trajectory Burger King has taken since last year’s introduction of an entirely new menu with smoothies, salads and premium chicken tenders.
“In their last rollout, they premiumized a product, had a healthy alternative and modernized their beverages, and this turkey burger is likely going to give consumers a more healthful view of Burger King,” Tristano said. “Wendy’s always had a stronger female orientation, so I think this is a push toward their territory, as well as an effort to get ahead of McDonald’s on something, finally.”
Miami-based Burger King Corp. operates or franchises nearly 13,000 restaurants in 86 countries.
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