- BK grilled chicken sandwiches
TenderGrill chicken sandwich US version of the TenderGrill chicken sandwich. Nutritional value per serving Serving size 1 sandwich (425 g) Energy 510 kcal (2,100 kJ) Carbohydrates 49 g - Sugars 15 g - Dietary fiber 0 g Fat 19 g - saturated 3.5 g - trans 0.5 g Protein 37 g Sodium 1180 mg (79%) Energy from fat 124 kcal (520 kJ) Cholesterol 75 mg May vary outside US market.
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: www.BK.com (PDF)
International fast-food restaurant chain Burger King has introduced a variety of grilled chicken sandwiches to its products portfolio since 1990. The current iteration in the majority of its markets is the TenderGrill chicken sandwich, with some of its other markets still utilizing the older Chicken Whopper name for the product. The TenderGrill sandwich was introduced part of a series of sandwiches designed to expand Burger King's menu with both more sophisticated, adult oriented fare and present a larger, meatier product that appealed to 24-36 adult males.
Burger King's first broiled chicken sandwich was introduced in 1990 and was called the BK Broiler. This sandwich was made with lettuce, tomato and a dill ranch sauce served on a oat dusted roll. The product came at a time of fundamental change in terms of chicken product in the restaurant industry; more than 90% of chicken products sold by the major chains were fried. Shortly after its introduction, the sandwich was selling more than a million units per day, and poaching sales from traditional fried chicken chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken. Additionally, the sandwiches were part of an industry trend towards the diversification of menus with healthier products such as reformulated cooking methods and salads. At the time, the sandwich had 379 calories and 18 grams of fat, 10 of which came from the sauce.
The introduction of the BK Broiler was one of the most successful product launches in the restaurant industry at the time, encouraging the company look into introducing additional products that would match the success of the Broiler. Furthermore, the success of the product was credited by analysts from Shearson Lehman Hutton Securities as one of the main factors helping Burger King realize a 47% increase in profit margin over the same period in 1989. By 1992, sales of the BK Broiler had slowed to half of what they were at the height of it introduction.
The company reformulated the BK Broiler in 1998 into a larger, more male-oriented sandwich served on a Whopper bun, increasing its patty size while changing the ingredients to mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. The idea behind the up-sizing of the product was to give the customer a sense of value, with a company spokesman stating When they [the customer] see a lot, it seems like they're getting a lot for their money, and even if they don't eat it all, they think they're being treated fairly. The move was part of a company back to basics movement in which it reorganized its menu, focusing on its core products and simplifying its product base.
As part of the forty-fifth anniversary of its Whopper sandwich in 2002, BK changed the name of the sandwich to Chicken Whopper and added a smaller Chicken Whopper Jr. sandwich along with a new Caesar salad sandwich topped with a Chicken Whopper patty. The introduction of the Chicken Whopper represented the company's first move to extend the Whopper brand name beyond beef based sandwiches since the original Whopper's introduction in the 1950s. The sandwiches featured a whole chicken breast filet, weighing either 4.7 oz (130 g) for the larger sandwich and a 3.1 oz (88 g) for the Jr., mayonnaise lettuce and tomato on a sesame seed roll. A newly reformulated low fat mayonnaise was introduced in conjunction with the new sandwiches. Along with the company's new BK Veggie sandwich, The Chicken Whopper Jr. version of the sandwich was lauded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest as being one of the best nutritionally sound products sold by a fast food chain. Conversely, the CSPI decried the rest of the Burger King menu as being vastly unhealthy.
Development of the sandwich began in 2001 in response to several major factors. After an overall sales decline of 17% coupled with a profit decline of 29%, Burger King held a series of consumer tests that showed the company's customer base was looking for a wider variety of options when making purchases. Additional survey results revealed that a lack of newer products was discouraging consumers from visiting the chain. Furthermore, the company was seeking to counter the threat to its sales by newer fast casual restaurants that had begun to bite into sales. By July 2002, the chain had sold nearly fifty million of the sandwiches, eventually displacing the BK Broiler's initial launch figures as the company's best selling product introduction. The successful introduction of the Chicken Whopper was one of the few noted positive highlights of the company during negotiations for the sale of Burger King by its the owner Diageo to a group of investors lead by the TPG Capital; Chicago-based consulting firm Technomic Inc. president Ron Paul was quoted that he was encouraged by recent product changes at Burger King such as the new Chicken Whopper, but he said it's too early to tell whether the changes have been successful. Despite the Chicken Whopper's initial success, just over a year after the Chicken Whopper's introduction enthusiasm for the product was waning; Burger King's largest franchisee, Carrols Corporation, was complaining that the product line was a failure, describing the sandwich as a pedestrian product with a great name.
In 2004, BK introduced its BK Baguette line of sandwiches that replaced the Chicken Whopper. The sandwiches were introduced at the insistence of the new CEO, former Darden Restaurants executive Bradley (Brad) Blum, shortly after the company was acquired by TPG Capital in 2002. They were formally introduced in 2004 as its BK Baguette line of sandwiches, that replacing the Chicken Whopper sandwiches. The Chicken Baguette line was intended as a new health conscious oriented product that got its taste from ingredients instead of fat.
The baguette sandwiches were introduced to Europe starting in the UK in 2003, with several new varieties designed to cater to the population mix of the country. While the baguette sandwiches were well received and continue to be sold, several red flags have been raised by the British government and private groups in regards the healthiness of these and other products sold by the fast food industry. In 2005, British Food Standards Agency (FSA) cited large levels of fats and salt in the company's beef-based Monterey Melt baguette and chided BK for backing out of an agreement to help make the company's products healthier. In 2007 the private public interest group Consensus Action on Salt and Health, abbreviated to CASH, cited Burger King and other fast food chains over the continued levels of sodium contained in these types of foods. The group specifically claimed that the Chicken BLT Baguette sandwich, when paired with fries and a Coca-Cola, was one of the three saltiest fast food products in the UK.
The sandwiches failed to catch on in the American market, and as a result they were discontinued as part of a menu reorganization. In 2005, they were replaced by the TenderGrill sandwich.
The Chicken Whopper was introduced initially via an April Fools' Day ad in several major news papers that claimed the company was changing its name to "Chicken King". A later press release announced the joke was to introduce the public to the new product. The television advertising program used to introduce the Chicken Whopper featured animated chickens in cowboy boots marching to the "Have It Your Way" tune and was created by animation house Kurtz & Friends. Later Commercials featured comedian Steve Harvey. A second series of ads called @BK, love is guaranteed that were developed by Los Angeles-based ad house Amoeba, guaranteed that customers would receive a free sandwich if they don't "love" the chain's Whopper and Chicken Whopper sandwiches. With the discovery of mad cow disease by the FDA in 2003, the company instructed their advertising agency at the time, Young & Rubicam of New York, to retool a forthcoming series of ads featuring the company's signature product, the Whopper, to include the Chicken Whopper. A Burger King spokesman stated that the change was because We [Burger King] decided that if there's anybody who wants a chicken option, at this point, we wanted to remind them that the Whopper comes in chicken as well as the original beef...
The American advertising campaigns for the BK Baguettes featured several celebrity chefs, such as Rick Bayless, visiting locations where similar style food stuffs were found, e.g. a farmers' market, and commenting on how these ingredients make the new Baguette line better and more healthy.
Naming and trademarks
The names BK Broiler, TenderGrill are registered trademarks of Burger King Holdings and are displayed with the "circle-R" (®) symbol in the US, Canada and El Salvador. Chicken Whopper is trademarked in the United States and the Middle East. Burger King currently does not have any trademarks on the BK Baguette line of sandwiches in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Argentina.
- International naming
- In Chile, it is called the Pollo Grill
- In the Middle East, it is still called the Chicken Whopper
- In Australia it is called the Grilled Chicken Burger And also has a spicy version.
- There is a lighter version with low fat mayo called the Light Chicken Whopper, part of its BK Delights line.
- LTO and discontinued varieties
- Chicken Caesar Club - Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, bacon and caesar dressing on toasted sourdough bread.
- Regional variants
- The Flame Grilled Chicken Sandwich is made with reduced fat mayonnaise, lettuce and salsa and is served on a fresh cooked bakery-style roll. It is one of BK's health conscious oriented menu items and is available in the UK and Ireland.
- In Taiwan the sandwich is called the Deluxe Grilled Chicken thigh sandwich and is made the dark meat part of the chicken. Variants include a spicy version with a creamy hot sauce and a sesame teriyaki version, In both versions the sauce replaces the mayonnaise.
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Similar sandwiches by other sellers:
- McDonald's McChicken sandwich
- Burger King foods
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