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Burger King’s New Menu Isn’t Any Healthier

Fast food giant Burger Kingis launching 10 new menu items as an attempt to gain back their place as the number two fast food burger chain after being edged out by Wendy’s last year. This is the first time since opening in 1954 that Burger King has undergone a menu expansion of this size. When you see the new items on Burger King’s menu, you might think you wandered into a McDonald’s. The new items Burger King is offering bear a striking resemblance to items that number one burger chain McDonald’s has introduced over the past few years. Burger King now offers chicken strips, caramel frappe coffees, Caesar salads and strawberry-mango smoothies.

There’s no denying that Burger King’s previous stance to cater to young men in their menu offerings has seen a struggle recently. Between a down economy and people looking for healthier options, Burger King’s focus on big beefy burgers has helped contribute to lax sales. “Consumers wanted more choices,” said Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King’s North America operations. “Not just healthy choices, but choices they could get at the competition.” The new menu items offer consumers those choices as well as some healthier options than the standard Whopper and fries.

Along with the new menu offerings, Burger King is also making some other changes. Worker uniforms have been updated to include aprons, stores are being modernized on the inside and the famous Whopper is now being served in a cardboard carton rather than being wrapped in paper. The process for making the menu changes was not a fast one. Burger King conducted three months of all-day meetings to test things like mayonnaise, French fries, the type of vanilla used in the soft serve ice cream, bacon quality, and the number of cheese slices to put on a burger. There were also several tests conducted to see how these new menu items would fare against the competition.

With all of the work Burger King has put into its new menu, we would be more impressed if they’d spent some of those meetings focusing on healthier foods. Adding a packet of salad dressing and croutons to one of their salads can turn a seemingly healthy side into a high fat and high calorie meal that is worse than the burger and fries in some cases. Like with any restaurant, be sure you check out the menu and calorie count beforehand so that you can make the best possible choices and avoid the temptations that come with dining out.

April 4th, 2012

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