Burger King once led the fast food wars. The chain actually pioneered menu innovation and launched its famous Whopper about a decade before McDonald’s. (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation report introduces the Big Mac.
La Maison du Whopper has also been the home of a pretty decent breakfast, at least if you love the Croissan’wich (and who doesn’t love a breakfast sandwich served on a variation of a croissant). You could say that Burger King has breakfast, lunch and dinner. There may be room for improvement (the fries and hash browns could use a little love) but most importantly, Burger King has believable options for all three meals.
When it comes to dessert, however, Burger King is empty.
While McDonald’s has the classic Vanilla McFlurry and Cones and Wendy’s (MAGNIFYING GLASS) – Get Wendy’s Corporate Report has its Frosty, dessert is not something Burger King is particularly known for. (Quick name of a dessert on the Burger King menu… We’ll wait.)
Even though all of shaken for cookies and chocolate pie periodically hit the Restaurant Brands International (RSQ) – Get the Restaurant Brands International Inc reportchannel menu, most fail to stay and certainly do not become an icon.
Is Burger King working on a big dessert?
Could this long period of mediocre desserts change? While no new US menu additions have been announced, it might be worth looking at what Burger King is doing in other countries.
In India, the fast food chain offers a cup of chocolate mousse and a cup of chocolate lava on its dessert menu.
The international menus of iconic fast food chains are often a good way to spot deficiencies at home. While McDonald’s only started testing the McPlant in select locations, McDonald’s India offered nearly a dozen vegetarian options like the McAloo Tikki and McPaneer Wrap.
Over the years, Burger King’s international locations have also had a number of crazy limited-edition desserts, from the Kiwi Crunch Sundae in New Zealand to the Chocolate Ice Cream Cone in Mexico and the Unicorn Shake (berry ice cream with upside-down ice cream to mimic a horn) in Spain and Portugal.
Why are fast food desserts important?
While it can be argued that dessert is secondary to a fast food outlet specializing in burgers and other savory dishes, customer demand is clearly there.
The saga of frequently broken McFlurry machine continues to spark outrage among McDonald’s fans. Desserts like apple pie and spring favorite Shamrock Shake also have a very loyal and hungry fanbase.
The dessert-hungry shopper base is clearly there but, largely due to difficulties with McFlurry machines, consumption of the beloved frozen dessert fell by nearly 26% year-on-year.
While many of these flavors are too tied to local produce availability and taste buds, a quirky dessert from above would certainly set Burger King apart from its competition and carve out some of those customers.
When one fast food chain fails to offer a product, another has the opportunity to step in and fill the void.