Burger King is putting more than $30 million in national advertising support behind its launch of the Big King hamburger, which takes dead aim at industry leader McDonald's Big Mac.
But McDonald's Corp. officials expressed confidence that burger lovers will remain loyal to its double-beef-patty offering. "If you want a Big Mac, there is still only one place to get one," said Chuck Ebeling, a spokesman for McDonald's.
Miami-based Burger King, a distant second in the $39 billion hamburger chain market, announced yesterday that it will put the Big King on its regular menu across the country starting over the Labor Day weekend.
The sandwich, which has been tested nationally twice in the past two years under the name Double Supreme, is built on the Big Mac model -- two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions.
But Burger King, a unit of Britain's Grand Metropolitan PLC, said the Big King has 75 percent more beef than the Big Mac, and it left out the third piece of bread found in a Big Mac. The Big King contains 5.6 ounces of beef, compared with 3.2 ounces for the Big Mac. The Big King will be introduced at a price of 99 cents for at least the first two weeks. It will be available later as part of a meal with a drink and fries for $2.99. Its stand-alone price beyond the promotion has not been disclosed. CAPTION: (Photo ran in an earlier edition) The home of the Whopper has a new resident: the Big Mac-like Big King.