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Burger King Reshapes its Chicken Tenders

Filed under LTO, Marketing, Menu, News

Addressing one of its key competitive weaknesses, Burger King is rolling out new Chicken Tenders that could get it back in the chicken-snack game. These replace the previous Tenders incarnation that were shaped like crowns, which signaled “for kids only.” The new, crispy Tenders moving into stores now are marketed to all ages.

The Chicken Tenders name continues to be a bit of a misnomer, since these are bite-size and shaped more like McNuggets than McDonald’s plank-like Chicken Selects strips or the Handed-Breaded Chicken Tenders that Hardee’s added last June.

Miami, where Burger King is headquartered, is one of the markets already selling the new Chicken Tenders, priced at 25¢ each. A four-piece pack is about $1; the eight-piece box is $2. The third size option is a 20-piece pack for $4.99. That gives Burger King a budget-price item as well as a more serious player in the snack category.

Previous Tenders were crown shaped.

The new Tenders are larger and slightly higher in calories than the previous, crown-shaped version: four of the new Tenders are 190 calories (11 fat grams), compared with 160 calories (9 fat grams) for the crowns.

Chicken bites have been a fairly secondary part of Burger King’s menu, though it has tried by adding Chicken Fries. That has been a more acute problem as other protein prices have risen while chicken prices have remained relatively stable. Outside the U.S., Burger King hasn’t established a consistent chicken-snack brand as it has with the Whopper and other items. For example, in the UK, Burger King sells Chicken Bites, while in Germany and many other markets the menu has King Nuggets. Canada still has the crown-shaped Tenders.

The name McNuggets is known globally, and  they have been a core menu item at McDonald’s since their systemwide introduction in 1983. McDonald’s doesn’t mess much with the McNugget because all that’s needed is a new dipping sauce to create a limited-time special. That’s what the chain did during the last year’s Winter Olympics, when McNuggets were paired with Sweet Chili Sauce in the U.S. and Spicy Szechwan and Zesty Mango in Canada.

Late last year, McDonald’s tried Chicken McBites—a crispier-coating version of McNuggets—in Australia and New Zealand. Endorsed by local cricket legend Shane Warne, the McBites were a hit, according to sources, but they have not been tried elsewhere yet.

24 Responses to Burger King Reshapes its Chicken Tenders

  1. Sarah


  2. Cross

    The new “Nuggets” are flippin’ terrible: bland, boring, flavorless. The old ones were much better. Guess I can stop going to BK, since that was the reason I even went there.

  3. Cory

    The new tenders are absolutely horrible. They are the most bland tasting pieces of chicken I have ever eaten. I also have no intention of going to Burger King again…literally everywhere else I’ve ever gotten chicken nuggets/tenders/strips has had a better taste than these.

  4. nancy

    BK marketers are clueless to what made them special. Go back to the orginal tenders… and the original taste. Remember the launch: “Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby…”? Stop hurting your brand.

  5. phil

    I’m glad there are others out there that agree with me. These are terrible. The old ones had such a unique taste with that little bit of black pepper in there. I’m done with BK.. Didn’t they just have the whole campaign a few years ago basically saying they would never change the Whopper? Well, whopper might sell more than tenders, but the tenders have to be close. I can’t believe someone got paid millions of dollars to come up with this new terrible nugget (it’s not a tender anymore). So, let’s give it some time, and then they can hopefully see that nobody wants these , so they can make a new campaign saying how much they listen to their customers needs. BTW , I have called BK to complain, and the lady said I wasn’t the only one.

  6. Chicken bites were great – these new nuggets suck and it seems all the kids are disappointed with the taste and the bites used to be different – they want to go mcdonalds now cos the happy meals have a better toy :) maybe someone from mcdonalds has infiltrated burger king to make them swap to standard nuggets.

  7. Fire Dancer

    i think the tenders are meant to be smothered in sauce. at least, that is how it seems in the kids commercials. i haven’t tried these yet, but from what ~i have heard, i do not think i want to. the old chicken tenders were great. shame on bk for messing up a great thing.

  8. Doug

    the new nuggets are terrible. I have not been back to BK since the unfortunate switch from the delicious crowned shaped tenders to these royal pieces of crap. ugh!!

  9. Walter

    One of the joys of Burger King used to be their tenders, which as was stated tasted unique and peppery. The new nuggets are horrible. Perhaps hard to believe, but I have been avoiding Burger King becaseu of this. Couple the bad chicken nuggets with the new fries that taste like they are days old, and I don’t see a reason to eat there anymore. It’s a shame too, as the burgers are still good…

  10. k

    I am so happy to see that I am not the only one who is unhappy with the new tenders which are terrible! I don’t eat burgers so the tenders which I always preferred over any other fast food restaurant in my area were the only reason I went. The texture and flavor of the new ones are disgusting and I hope burger king goes back to the others because like someone else mentioned the new stale fries combined with the tasteless tenders will surely put them out of business. I know they’re home of the burgers but as a former employee I can say the tenders are just as important

  11. Aije

    If I wanted nuggets, I would go to McDonald’s- and I hate nuggets! The chicken tenders used to be so unique; now I’m left without being able to rekindle my childhood memories. This is a horrible idea by Burger King, and I also only went for the tenders. They’ve lost me as a customer. They need to bring the tenders back.

  12. JTH

    BOO to Burger King. The original Chicken Tenders were the best. Simply delicious. Nobody else makes them like Burger King used to. Thats what made them so great! The new ones? I wouldnt feed them to my dog. The new Burger King chicken nuggets are just a copy cat of McDonalds, and a bad one at that!

  13. Chelsea


    The nuggets are just like McDonalds–NOT GOOD.

  14. B Hardee

    Please bring back the tenders!!!!! Why mess up a great thing?!?!

  15. yup

    The old tenders where the best, once they switched to the shapes like the crown and the stars for the promotional stuff they got dry and then they kept changing them and they got rid of the spicy sauce for the tendercrisp sandwich which was awesome on the tenders and even the new fries are worse. And the new odd buns instead of the corn dusted ones? Burger king fails the should pull a coca cola and bring back the good stuff

  16. Eric Potter

    Please Burger King go back to the old chicken tenders and carry you honey sauce again. New chicken nuggets are awful. By far my favorite thing to get for fast food now not much of a reason to go there.

  17. Mike

    These nuggets are terrible. They remind me of mcdonald’s chicken nuggets. The only reason they switched over is because they are much cheaper then the tenders were. Since they rolled out these new nuggets a few years ago, I have stopped going to burger king. Best way to show them your not happy is stop going. If they lose enough customers they will bring them back, or at least come out with something that is better then these cheap things. I don’t eat at mcdonald’s and now refuse to eat at burger king. Wendy’s nuggets aren’t too bad, but nothing can replace the old school tenders. But since upper management could care less about what their customers think, and would rather make a quick penny I doubt we will ever see them again. What a shame, they had something good.

  18. Since it has been 3+ years since the switch, it doesn’t seem BK has lost enough customers to switch back.

  19. Bring back the crown chicken nuggets!!!! Those were my favorite!! and the chicken fries!!

  20. stephanie

    It’s sad how I can still crave the original crown chicken nuggets even though I haven’t had them since the switch and I haven’t been back to burger king since then. Maybe people should go on strike and not eat there anymore and force burger king to bring them back! I guess it’s all about numbers and not pleasing your customers. :(

  21. Audra

    UGH! I cannot STAND the new “nuggets.” They’re disgusting and taste just like McDonald’s. The old tenders were so great and so peppery. I don’t even go to BK anymore.

  22. Jason

    Another vote for the original chicken tenders (even better before they went to the crown shape). But even the crown shape was fine. I miss the taste. Years later I miss them.

    I used to go to Burger King on average about 2 times per week when I was younger eating them. Now it’s about once per YEAR. Why did they make these changes? McD’s sells more because they have a zillion locations. Not because people think the food was better.

  23. Joe

    I agree with all the posters above. We lost such a great thing when they made the switch, my only regret is not stock piling these bad boys. I never knew Burger Kings marketing strategy would be to produced McDonald nugget with half the taste. I used to go to BK 3 times per week and all I would order was the nuggets. Now I’m lucky if I go once a month. Do the right thing and bring them back BK.

  24. stan

    Please do the right thing and bring back original chicken tenders .