Burger King’s menu takes a (rather) healthy twist for spring

As the weather warms and winter returns to the shadows, we all dream of changing into t-shirts and shorts, warm days by the pool and the tantalizing smell of summer barbecues.

Our tastes are also changing, from heavier comfort foods to keep us warm in the cold months to lighter, fresher meals like salads and fruit. It’s swimwear season, after all, and we want to look our best.

Companies in many industries know this and aim to cater to our seasonal moods, especially retail giants like Target. (TGT) – Get the target company report and Wal-Mart (WMT) – Get the report from Walmart Inc.placing cheerfully marketed patio furniture and decor at the forefront of their stores.

But in the fast food business, you have to balance those hot weather desires with those of the customer who still wants a solid burger.

What to do? Add “healthy” ingredients, of course.

This is the Restaurant Brands International corner (RBI) takes on Burger King, one of the few fast-food brands that has done little to meet the needs of those looking for healthier options behind the wheel.

But if you’re willing to play on the fact that “healthy” is an idea in many people’s minds that doesn’t match reality, well, you might have an angle for your new burger.

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What is this healthy Burger King sandwich, then?

Hey, avocado is a fruit, right? Sounds healthy. That’s probably why Burger King decided to incorporate it into their latest burger.

Burger King Japan tweeted a teaser photo of a Whopper, which includes crisp lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion on a flame-grilled patty, a slice of American cheese, slices of avocado and a smoked salsa based sauce.

The burger will be on sale at Burger King Japan locations from April 22. It is also a limited edition, although Burger King has not yet announced how long it will be available.

This isn’t the first time Burger King has served this particular sandwich, however. In 2018, he offered the Avocado Salsa Whopper in regular and junior varieties, which looks like the same sandwich we see here. The regular size sold for 640 yen (5.01 US$), while the junior size was for 490 yen (3.83 US$).

Burger King Limited Edition Strategy

Based on a strategy of making food products seem limited by removing them periodically, Restaurant Brands International has a winning formula that works wonders on the cravings of its customer base.

Taco Bell (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands, Inc. adopted a similar tactic with the removal of the beloved Mexican pizza from its menus in 2020, to take the time to tease a potential comeback before announcing it in May 2022. And while the article did have a loyal following after having spent decades on the menu, taking it away for a while and elevating it to a new status in people’s minds, making it a holy grail of fast food, if you will.

RSQ reported a 65% year-over-year sales increase in 2021, earning him $10 million. And Burger King’s international business grew 19.4%, meaning the “make it a limited edition” strategy is one it will likely rely on for some time to come.