Chipotle (GCM) – Get the report from Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. changed fast food in the United States. The chain not only created the concept of fast-casual – restaurants that are quick but use fresher, higher quality ingredients – but it was one of the leaders in establishing this space with Panera Bread. and a few others.
Chains like McDonald’s (MCD) – Get the McDonald’s Corporation report and Restaurant Brands International (RSQ) – Get the Restaurant Brands International Inc report Burger King created the fast food portion of fast food. They wanted (and still do) to deliver a familiar experience quickly, no matter where you are. A Big Mac or a Whopper tastes like a Big Mac or a Whopper no matter where you are in the United States or even the world.
Chipotle sources its ingredients locally. It always tries to provide the same experience in every store, but having locally sourced menu items means things may run out of stock. This is something that rarely happens with McDonald’s or Burger King (although there has been a recent shortage of McDonald’s fries in Japan) because these chains have built global supply chains designed so that every meal is exactly the same.
That doesn’t mean Burger King, in this case, never experiments, though. The chain has been very inventive with its burgers and sandwiches in the United States and around the world.
Now the famous “Home of the Whopper” has a new burger on some of its menus and it’s using an ingredient that’s on the Chiptole menu that the chain has sometimes struggled to keep stocked.
Chipotle Led Burger King Someplace New
Although it seems like avocados have always been a popular menu item in American restaurants, that’s not really true. Our national obsession with the key ingredient in guacamole has only really happened in the past 20 years.
“Over the past 18 years, our appetite for avocados has only grown. In 2000, Americans consumed just over 1 billion avocados. An astronomical number no doubt, but that number has since exploded, reaching almost 5 billion,” wrote Austin Schoonmaker in 2018.
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It’s an obsession that’s been fueled by the rise of Chipotle, which once counted McDonald’s as its biggest investor. The chain crossed 1,000 locations in 2010 and now has around 3,000. Guacamole has been a central part of its menu, and the chain’s stock price has fallen on the rare occasions it has had to warn her customers that she might not be able to source the necessary avocados to prepare the beloved garnish/dip/side dish.
Now the chain may have to compete with Burger King, which has added guacamole to its menu, albeit on a limited basis.
Burger King is jumping on the guacamole craze
If you want guacamole on a Burger King burger, you’ll either have to travel to Mexico or bring some with you to create your own version of Guacamole Crunch King. This sandwich – currently sold at Burger King locations in Mexico – was described by the company, on its website for Burger King Mexico, as a “taste from another planet”.
That’s a bold claim for a burger that features “grilled meat, guacamole, crispy bacon, and melted cheese,” according to the company.
Burger King also offered Guacamole Crunch King at some of its South American locations, but availability varies by country. The chain explained the new offer in a press release (translated from Spanish).
“For us at Burger King, it’s very important to stay ahead of the curve and continue to innovate with unique flavors and the highest quality, national ingredients that our customers love.”
And while Burger King’s limited-time offers outside the United States don’t typically travel to the chain’s home country, this one seems like a logical exception. Americans have gone crazy for guacamole and that has, at least in part, fueled the rise of Chipotle. Burger King offering the Crunch King Guacamole nationwide seems like a logical extension of that (but not at the moment when avocados are somewhat scarce).