Burger King shapes up

bg_sqpost_burgerking.jpgAhhh, Burger King. The Kwasnicki’s grew up as a Burger King family. The reason? Two-for-one Whoppers, of course – how else do you feed an army? (Remember when you had to sell the World’s Finest Chocolate bars as a school fundraiser? The ones with the “buy one Whopper, get one free” coupon on the wrapper? The Kwasnickis, of course, had plenty of wrappers to redeem because — hello, I have seven siblings — and we ate the chocolate before even trying to sell it. Although no one ever confessed to eating the chocolate.) Plus, this girl needed her Burger King crown. Parading around in paper pageantry really made my day. (I’m just sayin.) But on a recent road trip with the assorted nieces and nephews (ten or so), the subject of lunch came up almost immediately. I learned quickly that this group was hands down a Ronald McDonald crowd.* Burger King was a distant second. Hmmm… exactly how they’re preceived in the trades.

“In what animal welfare advocates are describing as a “historic advance,” Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, said yesterday that it would begin buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.” Some industry folks are balking that BK has taken the lead position in an area that greatly contrasts with its bad-boy and shock-jock image, and politically incorrect messaging and portions – have you seen BK’s Texas Burger spot?

But BK has been in the game long enough to know about keeping a eye on trends related to your business and poising yourself to accomodate in some way or shape. And although BK’s immediate goal (“… 2 percent of its eggs to be “cage free,” and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates…”) appears diffident: they’re the first. And they will be known for being both the first and the catalyst that eventually shook more to follow suit within the fast food category. And so the King will score more jewels as he firmly holds his prized (second place) position.

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*And Burger King – for what ever it’s worth – upon further analysis of my little focus group, I learned that the McDonalds draw for these kids was neither the Incredibles toy give-aways, nor the fully equipped play-spaces. It all boiled down to the fried potatoes. As my nephew Jackson said, “they may all be serving the same thing [Aunt Barbara], but it’s all about the way it’s fried.” (Apparently he’s not a boy watching his waist… yet.)

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Filed: boys, branding, family matters

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