Don’t worry – the Whopper is not endangered. But in an effort to play fast food industry catch-up, Burger King is undergoing a major revamp to recast its demographic net and lure health-obsessed moms and families back to the burger brand.
After a yearlong, “painstaking” process of research and evaluation, Burger King will launch a brand overhaul Monday that costs up to $750 million of menu additions, celebrity campaigns and restaurant renovations, USA Today reports.
For the first time in its 58 years of business, Burger King will roll out 10 new menu items, including a healthy selection of fruit smoothies, snack wraps and signature salads – all items already offered by the rivaling Golden Arches (see a comparison here).
McDonald’s, which still reigns as America’s top fast food brand, began implementing the changes Burger King is now unveiling in 2003, according to the Associated Press. Burger King, which fell behind Wendy’s as the number-two burger chain in 2011, according to research specialist Technomic, admits to similarities to McDonald’s menu, but contends the new additions are attributed to their own research.
A team of 15 executives, franchisees and suppliers spent three months debating over nuances like the right dose of eggs and oil in mayonnaise to the subtleties between Madagascar and honey vanilla for soft-serve ice cream. Aside from the food additions, current items also underwent makeovers: the Whopper is now made with one single, bigger slice of cheese instead of two, the French fries are thicker, and naturally smoked bacon is now cooked on-site. Burger King previously used pre-cooked bacon with a smoked flavor spray on. (Yes, that means that the bacon double-cheeseburger smell was not quite authentic.)
Other changes include a new marketing campaign that embraces celebrity endorsements from the likes of David Beckham, Mary J. Blige and Jay Leno. BK will sample new items at restaurants and send 40 food trucks across the U.S. to hand out new items at events. “People love Burger King and really want a reason to come back,” said Alex Macedo, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America. But can a vast overhaul save the crown?