Category Archives: Burger King

Because a Whopper just wasn’t enough …

4CheeseWhopper-DetailBurger King has introduced the Four Cheese Whopper. For anyone who’s wondering about this new extra cheesy Whopper, what we can tell you right now is that it doesn’t actually contain four cheeses. Instead, consumers will find a three cheese blend, American Cheese and cheddar sauce between the bun.

So if the term “four cheese” conjures up images of asiago, havarti, white cheddar and fontina in your mind, this sandwich will certainly fall short of your expectations. FoodFacts.com finds the terms three cheese blend and cheddar sauce highly suspect. But without the presence of an ingredient list, can you blame us?

What we do have right now are the nutrition facts. And here they are, in all their not-so-glorious detail:

Calories:                     850
Fat:                             57 grams
Saturated Fat:           21 grams
Cholesterol:              115 mg
Sodium:                    1160 mg

How does the Four Cheese Whopper stack up against a regular Whopper with Cheese?

We’re sure you’ve assumed that it’s worse. And you’re right — it is. 120 additional calories, 13 more grams of fat and 30 additional mg of cholesterol. It does contain slightly less sodium than the Whopper with Cheese.

While we don’t have access to the ingredients, we can tell you that the ingredients in the Whopper with Cheese certainly leave a lot to be desired. It features 120 ingredients and only one type of cheese. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sorbitol, sodium benzoate and propylene glycol are featured in the ingredient list. And there’s artificial color in the cheese. So we’re assuming that the ingredient list for the Four Cheese Whopper (essentially a Whopper with extra cheese) will feature a similar ingredient list. And that three cheese blend and that cheddar sauce — we’re fairly certain that those will contain controversial ingredients as well.

In short, we didn’t like the Whopper with Cheese. Now we can multiply that by four.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/four-cheese-whopper

Welcome back the Yumbo!

BK_Yumbo_detailMost of you are probably thinking to yourself, “Welcome back the what????”

In order to answer your question, we’ll have to go back to Burger King in 1968. That was the year that the Yumbo was first introduced. The sandwich was very popular and enjoyed a six-year run before it was retired in 1974.

While FoodFacts.com isn’t quite sure where it’s unusual name came from, we are sure that the Yumbo isn’t typical Burger King fare. It’s simply a hot ham and cheese hoagie with lettuce and mayonnaise. Which, according to various internet commentary, has some fast food fans puzzled. It’s not a burger. It’s not a chicken sandwich. So what’s it doing on the Burger King menu?

Well, according to Burger King, people have been asking what happened to the sandwich. Seems it’s a favorite childhood memory for many customers. And Burger King is making an effort to bring back some those memories.

Burger King made an all out effort to do just that with the Yumbo. It overhauled its Facebook page and made it appear as though the posts were from 1974. It even invited visitors to call the Yumbo at 844-BK-YUMBO. That toll-free line connected callers to the “Yumbo Social Hotline,” and asked callers to like or comment on the sandwich on its page.

It doesn’t appear that folks who don’t remember the Yumbo are embracing it quite as enthusiastically as those who fell in love with it 40 years ago. Comments include the sentiment that the Yumbo took very little effort for Burger King and that you really need to be in the third grade to think that this is anything special.

O.k. it isn’t a Whopper. But it is certainly a simpler menu offering for Burger King which may be refreshing for some. While we don’t have an ingredient list for the sandwich, here are the nutrition facts:
Calories:               490
Fat:                       24 grams
Cholesterol:         65 mg
Sodium:               1770 mg

So what should we make of this? Let’s put it this way — it really might as well be a burger. As a matter of fact, the Yumbo is pretty much the equivalent as the Burger King Double Cheeseburger. It has 40 more calories and about the same amount of fat. The Yumbo has less cholesterol. But it also contains A LOT more sodium.

Maybe it’s just us, but we don’t expect a hot ham and cheese sandwich to carry the same nutrition facts as a fast food burger. Guess we should have remembered that the Yumbo is a fast food hot ham and cheese sandwich and this shouldn’t have been surprising.

Those of us of a certain age should probably just enjoy our Yumbo memories and not try to make new ones.

http://www.bk.com/menu-item/yumbo-hot-ham-cheese-sandwich

The early demise of Burger King’s Satisfries

iStock_000016208114SmallSeems like we only just blogged about the introduction of Burger King’s lower-calorie Satisfries. Less than a year later, we’re blogging about the end of the chain’s healthier option for french fry lovers.

This is a blow to the fast-food chain, which has struggled to keep up with its direct rivals McDonald’s and Wendy’s while also dealing with customers fleeing for brands like Chipotle and Panera, which are marketed as healthier options. Satisfries were supposed to make burger fans feel better about their fast-food meal.

Satisfries are made with a special batter that absorbs less oil, causing them to have 20% fewer calories than regular Burger King fries. A small serving of Satisfries contains 270 calories and 11 grams of fat, while the conventional version has 340 calories and 15 grams of fat.

Price may have been one factor in why customers largely rejected the lower-calorie option. A small order of the lower-calorie fries typically costs about $1.89, compared to $1.59 for a bag of its regular fries.

Earlier this week, Burger King’s 7,500 North American eateries were given the option of continuing to offer Satisfries. Owners of only 2,500 restaurants decided to do so.

“The remaining restaurants will treat the product as a limited-time menu offering and have begun phasing it out after this unprecedented run,” Burger King North America President Alex Macedo said in a statement.

The company maintains that it always planned to allow customer demand to decide the fate of the product.

Essentially, Satisfries are dead at 5,000 Burger Kings and on life support at 2,500 others. The product was launched to cater to what seemed like a specific consumer demand — healthier products — but ultimately it seems people who eat fries are not going to change their habits to save a few calories.

FoodFacts.com has to wonder whether it’s possible for any fast food chain to successfully introduce a menu item that can be perceived as a healthier option. An honest look at Satisfries tells us that while there is a savings in fat and calories, the difference may not be big enough to convince educated consumers that these fries could actually be deemed healthier.

Burger King did make an effort, though. And for that, they should be commended.

We’d love to see those efforts continue. Maybe they could begin with offering a burger with a lower fat content. That might make a real difference to consumers. Just a thought.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/08/15/why-did-customers-reject-burger-kings-satisfries.aspx

Under the Bun: Burger King’s A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.23.08 AMThe world of fast food is an incredibly competitive arena and every manufacturer attempts to stay ahead of the pack with new product introductions. Unfortunately, most of those introductions don’t make the cut here at FoodFacts.com. Burger King certainly hasn’t been an exception in this regard. And they’ve been pretty busy this summer introducing a number of new menu items to their already crowded selection.

Let’s go under the bun tonight with the latest from Burger King and take a closer look at the new A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger.

According to the Burger King website, this new creation features two 1⁄4 lb. savory fire-grilled beef patties, topped with thick-cut smoked bacon, melted American cheese, and featuring savory A.1 Thick & Hearty sauce, all on a warm, toasted, Artisan bun. They do manage to make the new cheeseburger sound especially appealing. But how appealing is it really, beyond the mouth-watering description?

We’ve got the nutrition facts for the A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger for you here — and our immediate answer to that last question is “not very appealing at all.” We’ll admit it, we aren’t really surprised. Take a look:

Calories:                     850
Fat:                             51 g
Trans Fat:                    3 g
Saturated Fat:           22 g
Cholesterol:              140 mg
Sodium: 1                 480 mg

Wow. This new cheeseburger is junk food overload. There’s only one burger on the Burger King menu that can actually claim worse nutrition facts than the A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger and that’s the Triple Whopper. To be honest, we can’t really imagine anyone consuming either.

Consider that the RDI for fat based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet is 65 grams, saturated fat is 20 grams, cholesterol 200 mg and sodium 2400 mg. If you eat the new A.1 Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger for lunch, you really don’t have much room left for anything else in your diet that day. And we didn’t even get to the french fries yet!

Not touching this one. Sorry, Burger King.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/a-1-and-reg-ultimate-bacon-cheeseburger-m2740/index.html

Under the Bun: The Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger

rtttertte566edit334This week we have the pleasure of featuring another Under the Bun installment. Here, we turn our attention to the new Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger. That’s right, the Extra Long Cheeseburger. Kind of looks like a hot dog, but there are two burgers inside the bun instead. You may be asking why anyone needs a cheeseburger that’s sort of like a hot dog. What’ the attraction here, anyway? Couldn’t someone just order a double cheeseburger?

FoodFacts.com wants to report that, in fact, the Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger is actually just an odd translation of a double cheeseburger (except for the crispy onion rings topping the two burgers that lay side by side on a hoagie roll). Not the most original fast food creation. But let’s take a look at the nutrition facts before we make any decisions.

Here are the nutrition facts for the new sandwich:

Calories:                 590
Fat:                         28 g.
Saturated Fat:       11 g.
Trans Fat:              1.5 g.
Cholesterol:          70 mg.
Sugar:                   14 g.
Sodium:                1080 mg.

The Extra-Long Cheeseburger might be a translation of a double cheeseburger, but it’s certainly no better. With more calories, more fat, more trans fat and more sodium. In addition, you’ll be treated to 55% of your RDI for saturated fat.

While we don’t yet have access to the ingredient list, we can say with confidence that we won’t be trying this sandwich after looking at the nutrition facts listed.

And really, Burger King, there are better directions to go for new product introductions. We don’t get this sandwich at all. It didn’t take much creativity or thought. With fast food chains at least attempting to introduce healthier foods (even when their attempts aren’t incredibly successful), Burger King should be trying to follow suit. It’s called staying relevant. This sandwich isn’t.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/extra-long-bbq-cheeseburger-m2738/index.html

Burger King offers to be the main course for the upcoming Kardashian/West nuptials

burger-king-logo-kim-kanye-wedding-300x197.jpgJust imagine it. You’re a guest at one of the most glamorous weddings in history. You’re probably in France, somewhere on the outskirts of Paris. Every extravagant detail has been scrupulously planned and orchestrated. It is, as they say, “over the top.” Dinner is finally served and on your exquisitely beautiful, fine china plate sits …

A Whopper and fries.

That’s right, Burger King is offering to cater Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding reception.

While we don’t think that will fly with Kim and Kanye, it’s certainly been worthy of some press. Just exactly how did that offer get extended anyway? Burger King isn’t in the business of catering weddings, especially not for a couple who may currently be the most famous duo on the planet.

It appears that there are rumors circling that claim that Kanye has bought Kim a chain of ten European Burger King restaurants. Supposedly, a source shared the information with a U.K. tabloid, saying that “As always, Kanye is thinking outside the box when it comes to gifts for Kim. She owns all the jewels anyone could ever want, so he is taking the practical route by investing in businesses for her instead. He knows the fast food industry is reliable and lucrative, plus BK is international so he thinks it’s the perfect fit for Kim.”

It seems difficult to believe that fast food restaurants would hold any business appeal for Kim Kardashian. Let’s see, there’s a clothing line, clothing stores, makeup, fragrance, tanning products, and jewelry bearing the Kardashian name right now. We’re pretty sure the Kardashian Kids line just launched, but honestly it’s hard to keep up. We can’t understand how 10 Burger King restaurants in Europe fit into the growing portfolio. But we guess you never know!

“Burger King Corp. is familiar with the recent news stories regarding Kanye West and Kim Kardashian,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We are unaware of any purchase of BURGER KING® restaurants made by either Mr. West or Ms. Kardashian, but we’re available to cater the wedding!”

Haven’t yet heard a peep from the happy couple about that suggestion. FoodFacts.com can’t imagine that we will. While it was certainly a generous offer, we’re pretty sure that Burger King isn’t expecting to hear from them either. With hundreds of guests traveling to France for an extravagant wedding celebration, we’re fairly certain that the feast will reflect the setting — and that the ingredients chosen to create that feast don’t exist anywhere in the Burger King repertoire!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/burger-king-kim-kardashian-wedding_n_5050685.html

http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2014/03/30/Kanye-West-Kim-Kardashian-wedding-to-be-catered-by-Burger-King/4901396202865/

How does the Big King stack up against the Big Mac?

iStock_000018665961Small.jpgShort answer: they’re both pretty bad.

Back in November, Burger King reintroduced its own version of the Big Mac. The Big King originally appeared on the Burger King menu back in 1997. It was — and still is — an almost exact replica of the historic McDonald’s sandwich, which will go down in the annals of fast food history as the most successful burger in the industry.

It’s no secret that Burger King lags behind McDonald’s in popularity. In an effort to improve its position with consumers, Burger King has been aggressively marketing new products. In the past year, the chain has developed a rib sandwich to compete with the McRib and introduced a lower calorie, lower fat french fry option with Satisfries. And late last year, Burger King called back the Big King for a second stint on the menu.

FoodFacts.com thought it would be appropriate to see how the two stack up where it really counts. Are there differences in the nutritional content of the burgers? Is there any way, if we were incredibly hungry and we were on the road and every restaurant, deli, and grocery store were closed, except for a McDonald’s and a Burger King that happened to be located next door to each other, we’d pick a Big King over a Big Mac, or vice versa?

After taking a look at the nutrition facts (we aren’t even looking at the ingredients), our only reasonable answer is that we’d probably keep driving. Here’s a quick look:

Big King
Calories:              510
Protein:                18 g
Fat:                      29 g
Saturated Fat:      10 g
Sodium:               780 mg

Big Mac
Calories:              550
Protein:                25 g
Fat:                     29 g
Saturated Fat:      10 g
Sodium:               970 mg

Add a medium order of fries to either the Big King or the Big Mac and you’ve just consumed close to 50 grams of fat and almost two-thirds of your daily allowance of saturated fat in one meal.

For FoodFacts.com, there is no good choice here. For fast food consumers, the jury still seems to be out. But since the Big Mac has been available nationwide to consumers since 1968, the Big King may have a long way to go.

http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment/dining/drive-thru-gourmet-bk-brings-back-big-king/article_f8d61c90-373f-5dce-b7e5-577989d4cf98.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/02/10/burger-king-mcdonalds-fast-food-big-mac-big-king/5366137/

Is there actually such a thing as a healthy French fry? Burger King says its new Satisfries fit the bill!

FoodFacts.com may still be on the fence in regard to the new Satisfries Burger King recently introduced to consumers. While Burger King is not touting the healthfulness of this new French fry option (to their credit – it’s still a fry), the nutritional information they are promoting is pretty impressive.

These new crinkle-cut Satisfries boast 40% less fat and 30% less calories than plain old Burger King fries – down almost 77 calories and 5 grams of fat for a small order!

So what could we possibly be on the fence about?

FoodFacts.com hasn’t been able to see the ingredient list as of yet. We’re working on getting it so that we can find a comfortable place to stand on either side of the nutritional fence regarding Satisfries.

From what we’ve read, it appears that all Burger King fries are coated with a batter that helps the fries crisp up in the deep fryer while remaining moist and flavorful. According to the company, the drop in fat and calories in the Satisfry is a result of reformulating that thin coating – nothing more and nothing less. The reformulated coating is less porous than the old one, meaning the fries absorb less oil and are, therefore, lighter in calories and fat than their non-crinkle-cut counterparts.

Essentially this means that the ingredient list we currently have for traditional Burger King Fries will not change for the new Satisfries. As soon as we have that information we’ll get off that fence one way or another. But in the meantime, Satisfries do represent a notable reduction in fat and calories for fast food consumers. Yes – it’s still fast food and yes, there are absolutely better food choices … but Satisfries are a step in the right direction for the fast food industry.

One small note. Satisfries appear to cost between 20 and 30 cents more than regular fries. Maybe the reformulation of that thin coating costs a bit more. We’re not sure, but we did think we should let you know. And honestly, maybe the savings in fat and calories is actually worth the 20 – 30 cents. Consumers will have to make that decision.

In the meantime, we’ll keep you posted on how consumers respond to Satisfries and we’ll let you know when we can share ingredient information for the product with you. What we can say for sure right now though is that in a category of food offerings that seem to proffer less and less nutritional value consistently, it’s nice to see Burger King introduce a product with improved nutritional content.

While FoodFacts.com isn’t a proponent of fast food, we do think it’s important to acknowledge companies who are making real efforts to offer better options. So … nice work Burger King. Oh … and can you send us that ingredient list as soon as you can?

The best reason we’ve ever seen to avoid fast food completely

FoodFacts.com was just reading up on a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation regarding fast food. We’ve all known for awhile that there’s absolutely nothing redeeming in the ingredient lists of fast food products. They’re just bad for you. They have too much fat, too much salt, and tons of controversial ingredients. But now on top of that, it’s been found that there’s a very real possibility they cause brain damage.

In this new study, fatty foods were found to damage the hypothalamus region of rodent brains. The hypothalamus produces the hormones that control hunger, thirst, sleep and moods. It’s thought to be the “self-regulation” center of the human brain, helping us to determine how many hours of sleep we need, when we’ve eaten enough, etc.

During this study, rats and mice were fed a high-fat diet, similar to a fast-food heavy American diet. After 24 hours, their hypothalamuses were inflamed. In about a week, the rodents’ brains activated cells to repair the damage. But after several seeks, the inflammation returned and stayed for the remaining eight months of the study. The findings show that a diet can actually re-program the structure of the brain. It’s felt that this could explain why it can be so hard to lose weight and keep it off permanently. The rodents on the high-fat diet had a 25% decline in a special kind of cell that’s devoted to regulating appetite and fat control. The findings point to the idea that when we’re consuming an unhealthy, high-fat diet, we aren’t able to control our habits because the diet has actually affected the brain.

It’s important to remember that while this is compelling, researchers have yet to determine if the damage observed in rodent brains is analogous to what happens in the human brain. However, this is the first time that a study has found actual changes in brain structure based on fat consumption.

FoodFacts.com feels that this is important information for everyone in our community to note and share with others in their lives. Getting this new word out about fast food will give people another reason to stay away and recommit to preparing fresh foods at home.

Oatmeal now available at BK as a “healthier” option

burger-king-oatmeal
Foodfacts.com has reported on the trend of “healthier” options becoming marketed at major fast-food chains. McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Denny’s have all opted to add oatmeal to their menus in hopes of reaching a newer demographic of consumers. Burger King is now including oatmeal on their menu for just $1.99 in hopes of boosting revenue for the remainder of the year. Check out the article below to find out more on this new menu item!

Huffington PostOatmeal is the new burger.

Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, added oatmeal to its breakfast menu this week, joining a slew of other chains that have brought the hot cereal out of the cupboard and into restaurants and drive-thrus.
Click logo for Burger King products at blog.foodfacts.com!
Burger King says it is trying to offer customers a healthier breakfast option beyond its sausage croissant sandwiches and French toast dipping sticks. It’s also an attempt by the struggling chain to catch up to competitors and boost sagging sales by appealing to customers beyond its base of burger-and-fries fans.

“We are definitely looking to broaden our target and our audience,” said Leo Leon, vice president of global innovation for Burger King Corp.

Breakfast is becoming the most important meal of the day for restaurants – accounting for nearly 60 percent of traffic growth between 2005 and 2010. And oatmeal is the latest battleground. It’s low-cost, easily prepared and doesn’t spoil quickly. It also appeals to people who want quick, affordable food they perceive as healthier than the typical fast-food breakfast fare.
fruit-and-maple-oatmeal
Starbucks Corp., the world’s biggest coffee chain, said its $2.49 oatmeal has become its most popular breakfast item since it launched in 2008. Last year, McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest burger chain, added $2.99 oatmeal to its menu. Fast food chain Chick-fil-A and Denny’s casual dining restaurants also offer oatmeal, for $2.49 to 2.85 and 3.49 to 4.49, respectively. Burger King’s oatmeal, at $1.99, is the cheapest of the group.

Restaurants are trying to capitalize on oatmeal’s good-for-you reputation. But some industry experts say it’s not a good fit for fast-food chains.

McDonald’s has faced scrutiny for its oatmeal’s 4.5 grams of fat and 260 to 290 calories. That’s roughly equal to the number of calories in its own hamburger or cheeseburger. By comparison, Burger King’s oatmeal, which was created by Quaker Oats Co., has 110 to 270 calories and 1 to 4 grams of fat.

Still, Steve West, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said: “People don’t go to Burger King or McDonald’s for their oatmeal … they go for an Egg McMuffin.”

For Burger King, oatmeal is part of a larger strategy. It’s critical for the chain to find a convenient new breakfast option. Burger King said 10 percent to 15 percent of its customers visit during breakfast. And the fast-food chain sells the majority of its food to go or at the drive-thru.

The company also is eager to replicate the success of McDonald’s, which has reinvented itself as a more hip and healthy place to eat, remodeling stores, offering wireless Internet service and introducing new salads, smoothies and coffee drinks. That’s brought in higher-income customers than the young males fast-food chains typically depend on – a demographic hit particularly hard by unemployment in the weak economy.

Burger King, based in Miami, has a lot of catching up to do. McDonald’s brought in more than $32 billion in U.S. sales last year, nearly four times Burger King’s $8.7 billion, according to research firm Technomic. That was a 4.4 percent increase for McDonald’s and a 2.5 percent decline for Burger King.

In the second quarter, Burger King’s profit fell 13 percent and its revenue fell 4 percent to $596.2 million, compared with a year earlier, due in large part to weakness in its North American operations. McDonald’s profit rose 15 percent and revenue grew 16 percent to $6.9 billion during its comparable period.

It’s going to take more than a hot meal to turn around Burger King’s business. Industry experts say the company has let its product lineup grow stale, and the quality of its stores has deteriorated.

“You can sell all the oatmeal and lattes and smoothies you want,” said West, the analyst. “But they’ve got to remodel the stores – for the most part Burger King stores are very old and rundown.”

Burger King, which has been reevaluating its business since it was acquired by investment firm 3G Capital last year, recently made other changes. The chain said Friday that it was retiring its mascot “The King” and launching a new campaign focused more on food. The company also added new salads and “Apple Fries” – apple slices cut to look like fries for its kids’ meals.