If you're looking for an experimental burger, look no further than Burger King.
Amid several years of falling sales and declining status among consumers, the Restaurant Brands International (QSR) - Get Restaurant Brands International Inc. Report-owned burger chain has been trying to breathe new life into the brand.
It has done so by releasing a series of burger that shock either by their sheer size (the four-patty Yeti Burger) or ingredients that combine the seemingly incompatible (burgers topped with everything from fried herring to Nutella).
While many come from the brand's international branches and are tailored for different flavor profiles, others are promotions that rely on shock, surprise or even disgust as a marketing push.
What's The Weirdness This Time?
The latest Burger King taps into the beloved mac-and-cheese to draw in eaters.
Burger King Germany launched a line of sandwiches in which the meat is topped with a breaded macaroni and cheese patty and spicy chili sauce.
Coming in chicken, beef and plant-baed versions, the Macaroni & Cheese Lover sandwich is built as what would otherwise be a burger with bread, a patty, lettuce, tomato and onions.
The biggest difference is the mac-and-cheese that is fried as a separate patty and meant to add another boost of carbohydrates to the concoction.
The sandwich is not a permanent menu addition but rather a limited-time promotion for the summer.
will be available at select Burger King locations across Germany but, sadly, not in the U.S.
The burger chain's German branch has experimented with several unusual burger combinations in the last few months.
As part of a Mother's Day celebration, guests were invited to come up with burger toppings meant to mimic "the most popular pregnancy cravings for expectant mothers."
While Americans minds often go to pickles and ice cream, Germans proposed everything from fried egg and banana to vanilla ice cream and olives.
The nine most popular combinations were dubbed "Pregnancy Whoppers" and sold at German Burger Kings for a short period of time.
When In Doubt, Go With Mac And Chesee
For fast-food chains, these types of products are less of a way to bring in sales as much as a way of a marketing promotion meant to draw attention to the brand.
While most such promotions ultimately fizzle out, sometimes it works and helps certain products go viral on the internet. This happened with McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report Cilantro Ice Cream in China and KFC's Chicken and Donuts sandwich.
Even if many are calling it "gross," the internet attention gives it traction and gets people who are curious about it talking about the brand.
Mac-and-cheese has followed its own trajectory as a fast food trend. Burger King first launched the Mac-And-Cheetos as part of a 2016 partnership with Frito-Lay. The product put macaroni into a larger version of the cheesy corn chip.
Even though it was only a limited-time promotion, the product proved popular and set off several years of chains putting mac-and-cheese on everything and everything.
"These are part of a long tradition of companies creating new, slightly outrageous, fast food and snack food combinations – more cheese, more meat, more layers, adding sauces, [or] Cheetos, for crunch and a pop of flavor," food historian Ashley Rose Young told BBC in 2019.