McDonald’s continues to experiment with its ingredient pantry, mixing and matching patties, proteins and buns to create new sandwiches. Its latest idea, now in test, is the Zesty BBQ Crunch, a premium sandwich with a twist: it’s available as either an Angus or chicken burger.
The Zesty BBQ Crunch calls in peppered bacon, barbecue sauce and pepper-Jack cheese. The capper is crispy onion strings, a popular burger add-on elsewhere but not a McDonald’s staple. All this gets piled on a third-pound Angus beef patty or a chicken patty (grilled or crispy). Also like the English Pub Burger, the Zesty BBQ Crunch is built on an “artisan roll.” And whether Angus or chicken, the price is $4.49 alone or $6.49 as part of a combo.
The tests are not surprising given burgers’ continued popularity, recently reconfirmed by Chicago researcher Technomic’s report this month that burger consumption up significantly just since 2009.
But what also may be contributing to the renewed burger tests is Wendy’s impending rollout of its Dave’s Hot ‘n Juicy Cheeseburger line this fall. The new burgers—40% thicker than Wendy’s current patties—have boosted customer traffic and unit sales in the markets where they have been testing since late 2010. McDonald’s, Burger King and others will want to have burger news of their own to shout about.
And, in fact, Burger King, too, is busily testing new burgers. According to blog GrubGrade, a Burger King location in Watervliet, Mich., is offering an array of interesting menu test products. These include third-pound Chef’s Choice Burger, a variety of Fire-Grilled Thick Burgers (Big King, Mushroom & Swiss and Three Pepper Cheeseburger) plus a veggie burger, Flame-Broiled Beef Chili and more.