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Monday Meeting: Minis Return to Burger King

A month after Jack in the Box dropped Mini Sirloin Burgers from its menu, seemingly signaling the passing of the mini-burger fad, Burger King has brought back the tiny treats that began the trend. Now if only BK could decide on a name for them. 

First introduced in 1987 as Burger Bundles, they resurfaced in 1990 as Burger Buddies before returning in February 2009 as Burger Shots. Now the minis return as BK Burger Minis, although they are the same product. But while they were accompanied by “fluffy egg” BK Breakfast Shots the first time around, this time the secondary option is BK Chicken Minis. The small burgers are sold in 4-, 8- and 12-packs for $2.99, $5.99 or $7.99 respectively.

Burger King recently introduced mini burgers in Japan under yet another name: BK Bites. The Japanese version differs in at least two ways. For one thing, the minis are overtly targeted to women in Japan. Second, BK Bites are sold as conjoined pairs with different meats: “Spam and BLT,” “Beef & Chicken with Lemon and Basil Salt Sauce” and plain ol’ “Beef & Chicken.” 

Ξ In Australia, where Burger King operates as Hungry Jack’s, the chain has an unexpected hit on its hands not with burgers but bunnies. HJ’s recently introduced Jack’s Packs boxed meals with TV commercials featuring a perplexed counter worker and rabbit-suited customers (left) that magically multiply from two to four to six (just as the meals can feed two, four or six people). 

The meals are popular and so are the charmingly cheesy bunny suits worn in the commercials (from Clemenger BBDO, Sydney). “You’ve all been asking for one, so we are giving you the chance to win your very own Jack’s Pack Rabbit Suit!” proclaims the Hungry Jack’s Facebook page. “Simply upload a pic of you and your friends enjoying a Jack’s Pack and tell us in 25 words or less, how you’d put the suit to best use if you won.” 

Mt. Vesuvius burger

Ξ Red Robin Gourmet Burgers this week will add a Mt. Vesuvius Burger to its menu. The burger—topped with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, provolone cheese and “Lava Sauce” (sweet barbecue sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder and paprika)—is the creation of 12-year-old Donovan Duggins. His recipe won the grand prize at the fifth annual Red Robin Kids’ Cook-Off Championship, held last December in Denver. His prizes: a place on the menu, a family trip to Universal Orlando Resort and a year’s worth of Red Robin gift cards. 

Fifty cents from each Mt. Vesuvius Burger sold will be donated to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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