我讀此篇報導"寫得很好(精彩的個案寫作).差別完全在供應商研發出的新裹粉配方.妙的是對手麥當勞的反應..... 從商業角度看Burge KING 想訴之"熱量的減少並提高其售價"的方式 可能不見得是一種成功的市場區隔. 我希望幾年後 可以有Follow up的文章.
NEW YORK (AP) — Burger King wants people to feel less guilty about gobbling up its french fries.
The world's No. 2 hamburger chain is launching a new crinkle-cut french fry on Tuesday that it says has about 20 percent fewer calories than its regular fries.
The chain says a small order of the new "Satisfries" clocks in at 270 calories because of a new batter that doesn't absorb as much oil. By comparison, a small order of its regular fries, sans crinkles, has 340 calories.
The concept of taking an indulgent food and removing some of the guilt isn't new, of course. Supermarkets are filled with baked potato chips, 100-calorie packs of popular treats. Such creations play on people's inability to give up their food vices, even as they struggle to eat better. The idea is to create something that skimps on calories, but not on taste.
Burger King executives say people won't be able to tell that Satisfries are lower in calories. It says they use the same ingredients as its regular fries — potatoes, oil and batter. To keep kitchen operations simple, they're even made in the same fryers and cooked for the same amount of time as regular fries.
The difference is that the proportions of the batter's ingredients are adjusted so that it blocks out more oil, Burger King says. The crinkle-cut shape is in part so workers will be able to easily distinguish them from the regular fries when they're deep frying them together.
"You need to make things as simple as possible," says Eric Hirschhorn, Burger King's chief marketing officer.
Alex Macedo, head of North American operations at Burger King, said the chain worked with one of its potato suppliers, McCain Foods, to develop the lower-calorie fries. He said McCain can't sell the fries to other fast-food clients and that different suppliers might have a tough time imitating them.
Reporters were given a preview of the fries at a New York City hotel last week. Attendees were each served a carton of the fries that look and taste like any other fries, even leaving the familiar grease stains in their paper cartons.
Burger King led off its presentation by comparing the fries to the "leading french fries," which are made by McDonald's. On a pound-for-pound basis, executives noted that the new fries have 30 percent fewer calories than those served at the Golden Arches.
The comparison to McDonald's may prove to be confusing for some, since fast-food chains each have their own definitions of what qualifies as a small, medium or large.
A small serving at McDonald's, for example, weighs considerably less than a small order at Burger King. As a result, a small order of McDonald's fries has 230 calories — which is still less than the 270 calories for a small serving of Burger King's Satisfries. A "value" order of Satisfries at Burger King — which is closer in weight to the small size at McDonald's — has 190 calories.
When asked if it had any plans to introduce lower-calorie fries as well, McDonald's said in a statement that it remained focused on serving the "iconic" fries that its customers love. McDonald's fries aren't battered like Burger King's fries.
Satisfries is the latest gambit by Burger King Worldwide Inc. to revive its image after a series of ownership changes. 3G Capital, the Brazilian private investment firm that bought the chain and took it private in 2010, unveiled a revamped menu last spring right before announcing a deal to take the chain public again.
The deal was structured in a way that let 3G more than recoup the $3.26 billion it paid for the chain, while maintaining a majority stake. Burger King's stock price is up 37 percent over the past year and trading close to $20 per share.
Despite ramped up new menu offerings, sales at Burger King locations open at least a year slipped 0.5 percent in the U.S. and Canada, where it has about 7,200 locations. The metric is a key gauge of health because it strips out the volatility of newly opened and closed locations.
Still, Burger King is betting Satisfries will be so popular that people will be willing to fork over more money for them. The suggested price for a small order of Satisfries is $1.89, compared with $1.59 for regular fries. That's a 19 percent markup.
At the event in New York, Burger King had registered dietitian Keri Gans said Satisfries were about giving people a way to make a small change and still enjoy the foods they love.
"We're not trying to change the world," Hirschhorn agreed.
Follow Candice Choi at www.twitter.com/candicechoi
Burger King Tries New French Fries
Chain Goes After 'Lapsed Users' by Promising Fewer Calories and Less FatAs people cut back on french fries, Burger King is going after what it calls "lapsed users" with new fries that promise fewer calories and less fat.
On Tuesday, Miami-based Burger King Worldwide Inc. BKW +0.25% will roll out lower fat, lower-calorie fries at all U.S. locations. Called Satisfries, the fries have largely the same ingredients as Burger King's classic fries, but a less porous batter to keep out more oil during cooking, said Eric Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America.
The new fries are marketed as having 30% fewer calories and 40% less fat than McDonald's MCD -0.16% fries, the best-selling fries in the U.S. Burger King's smallest size of the new fries, called a value size, is 190 calories. The calorie claim is less significant compared with Burger King's classic fries, coming in at about 20% fewer calories and 25% less fat, said a spokeswoman for Burger King.
Burger King hopes to please consumers who love fries but are cutting back on the snack for health reasons, said Mr. Hirschhorn. Overall U.S. french fry consumption in recent years has slowly decreased, said Harry Balzer, vice president at NPD Group, a consumer research firm that surveys eating behavior. Still, french fries are the second most ordered item at restaurants after soda, said Mr. Balzer.
Burger King gave the new fries a crinkle cut to "mitigate confusion" with its classic fries, which have a straight cut, Mr. Hirschhorn said. They will sell for about 25 cents more than Burger King's classic fries except in kids' meals.
The move is the latest in the high-margin, fast-food fries war, where tinkering with a beloved food can be risky. In the late '90s, Burger King reworked its french fry recipe, hoping to grab customers from McDonald's, only to see that version flop. It tinkered with the formula again in 2001. In 2011, Burger King changed its classic fries recipe yet again, making them slightly thicker and less salty. The year before, Wendy's replaced its fries with "Natural-Cut" fries with sea salt and potato skin left on.
McDonald's Corp. doesn't have a history of tinkering with its fries recipe. The burger chain announced it would reduce to trans-fats in its fry recipe in 2002; the company didn't fully eliminate trans fats until 2008. Company executives said at the time that the delay was necessary to find an oil that didn't alter the taste of its fries.
In recent years, fast-food restaurants have added a raft of premium-priced items like smoothies and oatmeal to menus to draw in more health-conscious consumers and appease heath advocates taking aim at processed food manufactures. None have become top sellers.
At Burger King, items like salads, smoothies and wraps "are doing real well, but they pale in comparison to french fries," in terms of consumption, Mr. Hirshhorn said.
To avoid retrofitting thousands of restaurants, the new fries "had to be operationally the same," said Alex Macedo, president of North America for Burger King. Satisfries are prepared in the same way as classic fries, cooked in the same oil and fryers for about three minutes, he said.
When it comes to calorie counts, fried foods can be among the most difficult to accurately predict, as small changes in frying temperature and other variables can drastically alter the amount of high-calorie oil absorbed by the food, said Nicole Ring, director of nutrition for Healthy Dining, a San Diego-based firm that compiles calorie information for restaurants using computer software. (The company doesn't work with Burger King, she said.) Burger King extensively tested the calorie claims on it new fries, Mr. Hirschhorn said.
The new fries will be produced by McCain Foods Ltd., based in Florenceville, New Brunswick, Canada, which makes fries for McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King.
—Julie Jargon contributed
to this article. Write to Sarah Nassauer at email@example.com