Burger King adds (Mc) rib sandwich to a summer menu light on burgers
By Jay Keller
Burger King Worldwide, Inc. on Thursday unveiled a summer menu inspired by tangy and hickory smoke flavors cooked up in places like the Carolinas and Memphis.
The only burger on the menu, however, is the Carolina Whopper sandwich which features a “southern BBQ twist on a classic.”
The rest of the entrees and sides, which are available on May 21, feature non-beef recipes including a rib sandwich, BBQ chicken salad sandwich, Carolina BBQ chicken sandwich and the Memphis BBQ pulled-pork sandwich.
“Our Burger King family loves the outdoor grilling season,” said Burger King Worldwide spokesperson Flavia Faugeres in a statement.
Sides include sweet potato fries, chicken strip, two flavors of lemonade and various Oreo desserts.
Faugeres also said that Burger King was looking to capitalize on last year’s success so the company to create a unique menu that features BBQ made “in the traditional way they are meant to be made – over a flame.”
While Burger Kings hails the new menu as an effort to bring back fan favorites for the sake of the customer, the timing of the shift away from burger deals comes at an interesting time for food retailers.
Record-high wholesale beef prices have driven up prices across many retail industries, from grocery stores to restaurants to fast-food chains, since the beginning of May.
Restaurant chains have been feeling the impact of higher beef prices evidenced by McDonald’s recent announcement about plans drop the one-third pound beef Angus burger from its menu because of the rising cost of beef.
Industry watchdogs were quick to point out Burger King’s attempt to “copy a cult classic” – McDonald’s fan-favorite McRib sandwich.
All in all, rising beef prices have caused food operators and burger chains to rethink menu items heading into the summer months.
Burger King’s pork- and chicken-heavy menu signals that the burger chain is responding for economic reasons since the commodity price for pork is much lower than the going rate of beef thanks to last summer’s drought and a harsh winter.
Burger King still maintains that changes to the menu take aim at younger set of customers who seek variety.
“Our guests have grown to look for a variety of options,” Burger King’s VP of Global Innovation Eric Hirschborn told USA Today in an interview. “It’s not just about beef anymore, but other proteins like chicken and turkey and pork.”
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