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Burger King continues to stress real ingredients to lure customers
Interpret data shows a clear shift in customer behavior during the pandemic, so Burger King will need to emphasize what it doesn’t put in its food to keep people coming back.

Burger King began 2020 by sharing a decidedly unappetizing image with the world: a moldy Whopper. The idea behind this rather unique marketing campaign was to show how the fast food chain does not rely on any artificial preservatives in its products. The company has stressed that over 90% of its food is free from colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives, while MSG and high-fructose corn syrup have been removed from everything on Burger King’s menu.

According to Adweek, not only did this genuine approach to ingredients win Burger King a coveted D&AD Black Pencil marketing award, but it’s led the restaurant chain to put an ingredients label on its food packaging to stress the “real food” idea with patrons. Burger King claims that it’s removing 8,500 tons of artificial ingredients globally, which is a message that could resonate with an increasingly health-conscious customer base.

Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that nearly a third of Burger King customers are actively doing things to improve their health and fitness. At the same time, the number of people visiting Burger King dropped significantly during the pandemic, falling from 40% in Q1 to 32% in Q2, as many Burger King customers were sheltering in place and/or reducing spending and total expenses. Nonetheless, it’s clear that focusing on natural ingredients and healthier options is a message that most customers will listen to.

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