Burger King debuted reformulated chicken nuggets Monday with a national advertising campaign, a giveaway and a Facebook promotion.
A Burger King spokeswoman said the tenders had a new shape and a breading flavor that was “more broadly appealing” to consumers.
A four-piece order is on the 12,200-unit chain’s Value Menu for $1. The suggested retail prices for eight- and 20-piece orders are $1.99 and $4.99, respectively.
The revamp comes about a month after 9,351-unit Domino’s Pizza chain of Ann Arbor, Mich., rolled out a new breaded boneless chicken and reformulated wings.
Commodities expert John Barone, president of Market Vision Inc. in Fairfield, N.J., and a columnist for Nation’s Restaurant News, said restaurants might be turning more to chicken in the face of elevated pork and beef prices that are even higher than they were last year. Chicken breast, by comparison, is down or flat from last year, he said, and wings are down “significantly,” because they were so inflated last year.
“I think chicken might be the one area where there’s still some value left,” he said.
Burger King said it would give away 272 million chicken tenders by mailing coupons this week for free four-piece servings.
National television advertisements targeting adults that began airing Monday focus on convenience, pointing out that the new chicken tenders are hand-held, that the portion size is customizable and that the tenders are available with six sauces — Buffalo, barbecue, zesty, sweet and sour, honey mustard and ranch. The tenders also are being advertised to kids in a cross-promotion with Universal Studios’ new animated movie HOP.
Miami-based Burger King Corp. also launched a Facebook application, the Tender 8. Customers who choose eight Facebook friends to be part of their Tender 8 network receive a coupon for an eight-piece order with the purchase of an eight-piece chicken tender Value Meal. The app also allows participants to virtually “dunk” their friends in one of the dipping sauces.
Burger King is a subsidiary of global investment firm 3G Capital, which bought the company in October 2010.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].