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Burger King's Big King A Big Joke Compared to Big Mac

LOS ANGELES, November 20, 2013 () – My dad taught me at an early age that you should never try to beat someone at their own game. And when that someone is McDonald’s, a literal icon of fast food, that adage rings especially true.

So when I tried Burger King’s new Big King sandwich last week, I was stunned at what it was: A literal imitation of McDonald’s Big Mac. Just like the Big Mac, the Big King has two beef patties, sauce, cheese, pickles, onions and a third piece of bread.

When I saw this, I thought: “What the hell is Burger King doing?”

This isn’t the first attempt to topple the Big Mac. Burger King tried it before in the late 1990s by introducing its Big King without the third piece of bread. And Carl’s Jr. did a great campaign against the Big Mac a few years back with its Big Carl burger. But this is the first time I’ve seen someone take the Big Mac on by coming up with something that’s pretty much exactly like the Big Mac.

And it’s a stupid move.

Look: The Big Mac is iconic. It’s a McDonald’s institution. The two are forever linked in the minds of fast food customers. So when customers want a Big Mac, they’re going to go to McDonald’s. That’s a given. Good luck trying to convince those customers to go somewhere else.

And it’s not like Burger King is doing itself any favors. The Big King is more expensive than the Big Mac, looks smaller and unlike the Big Carl, which Carl’s Jr. introduced as bigger than the Big Mac and at a lower introductory price, the Big King has done nothing to distinguish itself from the Big Mac.

Never try to beat someone at their own game.

Apparently, that’s a lesson Burger King has yet to learn.

Nevin Barich is the Food & Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. He can be reached at

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