[7/21: Winner! The Netherlands also gets a Double California Whopper.]
[7/16 Update: It's spreading. In Germany and Austria, BK has added not only the California Whopper but also a California Wrap and a Texican Burrito. To watch the Monologue commercial about the California Whopper, go here.]
“Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world,” the Beach Boys tell us, and Burger King has gotten the message, about both the surfer ethos and globalization. “Greetings from California” begins the chain’s online marketing for the California Whopper. “Sit back, relax and enjoy.”
And where can we find this tribute to California’s laid-back, fun-and-sun-loving beach culture? Surf’s up in Scandinavia, dude!
In Norway, Sweden and Denmark, Burger King is promoting the California Whopper, a variation on its signature burger with guacamole, lettuce, tomato, bacon and chipotle-ranch dressing. It’s a 703-calorie, 40 grams of fat summer indulgence. In Norway, at least, there’s a local angle: marketing boasts that the burger is made with 100% Norwegian beef. Mmm.
Check your notes and you’ll recall that BurgerBusiness speculated in December that the California Whopper, which Burger King had just added to the menu in its Orlando Whopper Bar, might get a wider menu tryout. We were right; we just didn’t anticipate that the burger would catch a wave to Oslo before Huntington Beach.
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ5oboVKKTQMcDonald’s, which has been busy lately creating burgers named for New York (and the NYCrispy is expanding across Europe), also has a West Coast tribute burger on the market. In Spain the chain is offering the California Grill, a new burger topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, Emmental cheese and special sauce on an herbed bun. An accompanying TV commercial from TBWA/España uses DJ Beni Benassi’s version of The Mamas & The Papas’ 1965 classic “California Dreaming” as its aural-flashback background. As if winning the World Cup weren’t enough excitement for one summer.
There’s at least one California-based burger chain that’s not letting all the fun go overseas. Ruby’s Diner’s summer special is the Beach Burger, a melt-style creation on toasted sourdough.