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Burger King

Burger King struggles with higher health expectations of consumers

Friday, November 03, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas
Tags: Burger King, fast food, eating habits


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(NewsTarget) In the United Kingdom, Burger King appears to be struggling with sales due to the renewed interest in healthy eating by its British consumers.

Burger King -- the world's second-largest hamburger vendor -- indicated that its 650 British stores are continuing to see falling sales while sales in other parts of the world are strong.

Sales are struggling so much in Britain, Burger King CEO John Chidsey recently said that the company had to inject over 3 million dollars just to fortify its UK division amid what he called a "challenging operating environment."

Although Burger King's global profits rose 82 percent to $40 million in third quarter, it has had lackluster sales at its British operations, which the chain says is due to "perceptions about obesity and food-borne illness, and increased competition from sandwich shops, bakeries and other new restaurants that are diversifying into healthier options in response to nutritional concerns."

In response, Chidsey stated that Burger King had made certain concessions. For example, the chain no longer salts french fries in Britain unless customers request it. In addition, the children's menu includes milk and "grapple" options, which include grapes and apples.

Chidsey went on to add that Burger King's "have it your way" corporate promise that allows customers to ask for tailor-made hamburgers with variations such as extra lettuce and tomato would continue. The chain currently has 11,220 stores and outlets serving more than 11 million people each day.

Burger King's problems are the opposite of what larger rival McDonalds is experiencing. The chain announced last month that its sales in Britain were strong, thanks to refurbished restaurants, a new marketing strategy and healthier options such as carrot sticks, apple dips and salads.

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