The fast-food giant never hesitates to try new versions of its answer to McDonald’s Big Mac largely because it has very few iconic products.
McDonald’s CEO Christopher Kempczinski has talked a lot about how his company has decided to build around its biggest-name products. That’s easy to do when your company has so many well-known, even iconic products to promote.
That’s something he talked about during his company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
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“Throughout 2022, some of our most successful campaign platforms brought our customers closer to the core menu items they love. The strength of our brand goes beyond the Golden Arches themselves and includes our iconic products such as our world-famous French Fries, the Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, and the McFlurry,” he said.
That list is just the beginning, according to Kempczinski.
“Each of these products are billion-dollar brands and in total, McDonald’s possesses 10 of these billion-dollar brand equities. In an environment where our customers are looking for the simple and familiar, our core menu items have never been more relevant or beloved,” he added.
McDonald’s has a massive edge over its rivals in this area even though Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get Free Report Burger King invented its signature product, The Whopper was introduced in 1957, nearly a full year before the Big Mac was released. And, while you can make a weak argument for Burger King’s Croissan’wich and maybe its Chicken Fries, the reality is that the “Home of the Whopper” has exactly one iconic product, the Whopper.
That’s why Burger King has been so willing to try to leverage the Whopper brand in recent years.
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Over the past few years, Burger King has released dozens of Whopper varieties all around the world. Some are novelty Whoppers like the Halloween Whopper served on a black bun that seemed designed more as a publicity stunt/social media play while others are more serious tries to reach a mass audience.
Former Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil commented on his company’s strategy during the company’s first-quarter 2022 earnings call, His comments sounded a lot like what Kempczinski 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,” he said. “We kicked off the year with a new $5 Have It Your Way Meal featuring a Double Whopper Jr. In addition, in order to treat the Whopper as a powerful multibillion-dollar brand that it is, we removed the legendary burger from our core discount offerings.”
Burger King Introduces a New Whopper
Burger King’s latest Whopper, which has neen released in Canada, seems like a play at reach a mass audience. The Mushroom and Swiss Whopper is fairly similar to the Shroom n’ Swiss Whopper Melt which got a limited release in the United States in 2022.
“The Mushroom and Swiss Whopper includes a flame-grilled Whopper patty, Swiss cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms, all covered in Royal Sauce. You can also enjoy the Mushroom and Swiss Whopper as a double with a pair of flame-grilled Whopper patties,” Chew Boom reported.
Coming in at 600 calories for the single version, Mushroom and Swiss Whopper will be available at participating Canadian stores for a limited time. Burger King often tests a new menu item in Canada before release it in the U.S.
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This story was originally published April 30, 2023, 9:21 AM.
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