Breakfast Burgers Are New Weapon in Fast Food Wars
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The Fiscal Times
May 8, 2014

In the ongoing and high-stakes fast-food breakfast wars, Burger King (BKW) has now fired the latest salvo – and it’s left the competition broiling mad.

The Miami-based chain announced that its flame-broiled burgers – including its signature Whopper, first created back in 1957 – will become a regular part of its breakfast menu, right alongside its other breakfast offerings, including French toast sticks, ham omelet sandwiches and the Crossan’wich.

Related: 10 Massive Fast Food Flops

The chain announced that more than 5,000 of its locations nationwide will participate in the company’s new morning program, called “Burgers at Breakfast.” Also offered in the a.m. hours will be the brand’s chicken sandwiches, French fries and apple pie.

A Burger King spokesperson told AdAge that the breakfast menu will be supported by a marketing push that includes digital, radio, and a point of purchase program.

McDonald’s – which currently does not sell burgers on its breakfast menu – remains the leader by far in the breakfast food wars. It has about 30 percent of all sales in the category, according to Technomic. Taco Bell, however, took a swipe at the Golden Arches’ in late March when it began using real-life Ronald McDonalds to help plug its new breakfast menu.

Related: Taco Bell’s Clever Campaign to Eat McDonald’s Breakfast

Then, just one day after the Taco Bell launch, McDonald’s fired back with something for nothing when it offered a free 12-ounce cup of coffee for a two-week period. Mickey ‘D’ has followed that freebie with a two-for-one Big Mac deal, presumably to combat the Burger King deal.

All this crazed attention for the consumer dollar is for one clear reason: The morning hours are the only time of day predicted to experience growth for the fast food industry in the next decade.

Morning visits by American consumers were up three percent in 2013 over 2012, according to NPD data cited by AdAge – with fast food accounting for 80 percent of total restaurant morning meals, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Managing Editor Maureen Mackey oversees scheduling and work flow and also writes and edits features and reports on a wide array of subjects. She spent more than 20 years as a senior book and features editor at Reader’s Digest.