Burger King just announced that it has banned 120 artificial ingredients from its menus, including high-fructose corn syrup and several food dyes.
The move is a continuation of an earlier strategy to publicly distance Burger King from artificial dyes and preservatives, including a 2020 ad campaign featuring a time-lapse of a Whopper growing old and moldy over time. By that point, the chain had eliminated preservatives from European menus and in certain US markets. Burger King said all US Whoppers were free of preservatives by the end of 2020.
“We know our guests’ expectations are changing, and they want to make choices they can feel good about,” Ellie Doty, Burger King North America chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “We’re confident that our ongoing commitment to real food will not only provide guests with the food they’re looking for but also set a standard for the industry overall.”
Burger King is also using this announcement to launch its own celebrity meal partnerships. The chain is playing off the idea of “real” by using the real names of celebrities known by other titles.
Nelly’s Cornell Haynes Jr. Meal, consists of a Whopper, small fries, and a small Sprite. Anitta’s Larissa Machado Meal contains an Impossible Whopper, small fries, and a small Sprite. Lil Huddy’s Chase Hudson Meal meal is a Spicy Ch’King sandwich with cheese, mozzarella sticks, and a chocolate shake.
Burger King’s Keep It Real Meals look similar to McDonald’s famous orders, which drove customers in with names like Travis Scott and BTS. The Travis Scott meal last fall was so popular that some locations ran out of Quarter Pounder ingredients. It was also enriching for Scott personally, as he got at least $20 million from the deal, according to Forbes.
Collaborating with young artists and creators became huge for fast-food chains in 2020 and is continuing strong in 2021. The deals helped brands connect with Gen Z customers and often ended up on social media and as TikTok trends.
The Keep It Real Meals will be available beginning Sunday.