Burger King cuts artificial ingredients from the Whopper, as fast-food rivals fight over 'clean food'

Burger King's Whopper is now free of artificial ingredients.Burger King
  • Burger King announced on Thursday that the Whopper is now free of colors, flavors and preservatives from artificial sources.
  • The chain is highlighting the change by listing all the ingredients on the Whopper's packaging.
  • The campaign is the latest instance of chains proving their "natural" food credentials.

Burger King's Whopper is now free of artificial ingredients.

The fast-food chain announced on Thursday that the signature burger now features "no colors, no flavors and no preservatives" from artificial sources at locations across the US. Burger King said in a press release that 85% of its permanent menu in the US is free of ingredients from artificial sources, with plans to completely rid the menu of preservatives, colors, and flavors from artificial sources by early 2021.

Burger King is highlighting the change by putting all the ingredients on the Whopper's packaging for a limited time. Advertisement

The announcement is the latest in Burger King's attempts to upstage the fast-food competition on natural ingredients. In February, the chain launched a campaign that showed a Whopper growing moldy and decomposing.

"We knew that the approach was different and that some people would think that it's too risky or would hurt us," Fernando Machado, Burger King's global chief marketing officer, told Business Insider at the time. "But people are smarter than that, and the biggest risk for us is to go with an idea that would fall flat."

Fast-food chains are battling to prove their "natural" food credentials. McDonald's has stripped artificial ingredients from a number of menu items and began selling fresh-beef Quarter Pounders in 2018. Wendy's frequently highlights its use of fresh beef, mocking McDonald's attempts to ditch frozen meat. Chains including Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Subway have similarly committed to cutting artificial ingredients from the menu in recent years.
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