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The King’s New Fries.

December 7, 2011

Almost 14 years after Burger King launched its then brand new french fries with the help of toy icon Mr. Potato Head, they are doing it again in almost the same fashion. In December of ’97, Burger King officially introduced to the U.S. their new weapon in competing with McDonald’s — a more potato-tasting fry with a crispier potato starch coating. They spent $70 million in advertising, not to mention whatever they paid Hasbro to use Mr. Potato Head. BK gave away free bags of french fries in early ’98 and people loved them. I thought they were worse than what they had before. But at least the commercials were funny.

Now, in late 2011, BK is hoping to repeat history if not improve on it. This very week, approximately 7,000 U.S. Burger Kings received their new bags of fries and on December 16 they are planning to give away a free small value fry to each customer with no purchase necessary. This time, they’re supposed to have a more potato flavor than before. Is that even possible? If you sense some sarcasm it’s because there is some. I love marketing, but sometimes it’s just a bunch of crap. How can you have more potato flavor than real potatoes. It either tastes like potato or it doesn’t.

A McDonald’s spokesman said in 1997 that McDonald’s fries were the best-selling fries in the country and that nothing would change. I agree with this statement even more today. One main reason is that Burger King has decided to showcase their food more in their commercials and not the King or other characters. On screen, these fries look just like their other fries. Here is what I think — heck, this is all what I think, but anyways… If Burger King wants to really compete with McDonald’s, they should make fries that taste just like McDonald’s fries. Many would say that BK’s burgers are already tastier, so compete there, not on the fries. They’ll lose every time.

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