OAK BROOK Ill. The premium burger wars are escalating as McDonald’s expands its Angus beef burger test March 5 to 600 southern California restaurants. Simultaneously, San Diego-based Jack in the Box has started testing a 100-percent sirloin burger in its home market. Both chains are following the lead of Carl’s Jr. and Burger King, both of which debuted Angus burgers in 2004.
McDonald’s test units will sell its six-ounce Angus Third Pounder burgers on a new sesame seed-topped roll for $3.99. The burgers represent McDonald’s latest effort to upgrade its fast-food image with premium products, including grilled chicken sandwiches, salads and higher-quality coffee.
The three choices are Angus Deluxe, a “backyard style” patty topped with crinkle-cut pickles and raw red onion rings; a patty topped with mushroom and Swiss cheese; and a bacon cheeseburger. The $3.99 price averages $1.60 more than a Big Mac.
Angus is a cattle breed known for the high marbling content of its meat. McDonald’s Angus Deluxe weighs in at 41 grams of fat, equivalent to the fat content of a double quarter-pounder with cheese.