Burger King Links In-Store with At-Home

French fries and apples are top of mind at Burger King these days.

Seeking to leverage its brand and generate new revenue streams, Burger King is working with two new licensing partners to bring BK branded french fries and apples to the at-home market.

Under one deal, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston is launching a line of Burger King branded microwaveable french fries this fall.

Lamb Weston, a business of ConAgra Foods, Inc., describes itself as “North America’s premier supplier of frozen potato, appetizer and vegetable products, serving both the foodservice and retail industries.”  The company is in the midst of a staged, three-item rollout to “select retailers” that was scheduled to begin in September with King Krinkz™, seasoned crinkle-cut fries; followed by King Kolossalz™, extra-large fries; and then finally King Wedgez™, seasoned potato wedges.  The retail price for King Krinkz™ was reported at $1.49 for a 4.5 ounce box.
BK King Krinkz
Interestingly, Lamb Weston thinks some consumers will make the product at home and take it on-the-go because the carton converts into an “easily transportable container” similar to Burger King’s FRYPOD® container.  That seems a stretch and might not make BK franchisees too happy.
Developing and building new brands is an immense challenge so it’s easy to understand why Lamb Weston would want to tap into existing brand awareness and equity.  According to Sharon Miller, vice president of retail sales for ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston, “Burger King’s Corp. tremendous brand strength and reputation for great-tasting french fries give this new line of King retail fries a head start in the marketplace.”As for Burger King, it gets more branding, channel expansion and licensing revenue.  John Schaufelberger, senior vice president, global product marketing and innovation, Burger King Corp. referred to the “ability to take our HAVE IT YOUR WAY® brand promise beyond our restaurants and engage customers in a new way.”

Overall, though, does the concept have enough to fly?  There’s no shortage of frozen potato choices in your local store’s freezer cabinet.  The microwaveable cooking benefit may be the differentiator, especially with today’s “I want it now” consumers.

With the other licensing agreement, Burger King continues to explore how it can maximize the iconic shape of french fries.  The company went national in 2008 with its BK® Kids Meal product, BK® Fresh Apple Fries, which are apple slices in the shape of french fries.  Now, BK wants to extend the reach of this concept to the at-home market.  It has an agreement to market french fry shaped apple slices in food stores via a deal with Crunch Pak LLC, which was started in 2000 by a group of Washington state apple growers.  BK Apple Fries were scheduled for a nationwide launch in 10,000 supermarkets starting this fall.

BK Apple Fries Retail

Pricing for a single serving will be approximately $1; and $4 to $5 for a larger package with multiple servings.  Burger King’s Schaufelberger remarked that “the popularity of this clever product is now opening up new channels for our business and providing our customers with a menu favorite in the places they shop most.”

Burger King and Crunch Pak are promoting the BK Apple Fries to food retailers via trade advertising.  A new print ad states that BK sold more than 29 million servings since its 2008 launch and is “a winner with both parents and kids alike.”  CrunchPak just exhibited this product at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit trade show in Anaheim, CA.

Crunch Pak is clearly targeting the children’s market.  Along with Burger King branded products, Crunch Pak is also selling retail apple slices with Disney character branding via a business arrangement with Imagination Farms, LLC, who is the marketer of the Disney Garden brand of fresh produce.

There is an overlap between the Burger King and Disney Garden brands with the apple products, but this gives Crunch Pak a unique two-pronged branding play with retailer buyers.  The category management selling materials must be intriguing, especially if Crunch Pak has dual-placement objectives.

Headline

Licensing is a viable option to enter new channels, extend your brand, and create a new revenue source.  However, make sure you have a licensing strategy in place that complements your overall marketing, brand and channel strategy, and be sure you actually use it to properly evaluate each licensing opportunity.  If you want licensing to play a key role in your marketing mix, don’t hesitate to proactively search out the best partner instead of waiting for someone to knock on your door.  Remember to evaluate the product/brand portfolio of each potential partner both as it exists today and how it might expand, and be sure that any critical limitations are clearly reflected in the contract.

Harvey Chimoff is a hands-on marketing leader and business-wide collaborator who builds marketing capabilities in B2B/B2C organizations that drive customer success.

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2 thoughts on “Burger King Links In-Store with At-Home

  1. Thanks for mentioning two of the food licensing deals my company, Broad Street Licensing Group, made happen for our client, Burger King. It might be helpful to your readers to know that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t bring these opportunities to companies, it takes knowledge of the marketplace, contacts in the various industries, smarts and plain hard work.

    Addressing your concern about franchisees, the facts with other restaurant brands who’ve leveraged their names and products to retail prove that at-home and eating out meal occasions are TOTALLY DIFFERENT in the minds of consumers, so the risk to the franchisee is greater if the licensing deal is NOT done, especially as consumers are now eating more meals at-home, reversing a trend away-from-home over the past decade or so.

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    • I agree with the occasion-based marketing differences for restaurant brands on-site and at-home. My comment referred to Lamb Weston and Burger King publicizing the “easily transportable container” aspect of the retail french fry package.

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