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Here We Go Again: Is Burger King’s Latest Food Mashup A Successful One?

Did Burger King go too far this time around?

The rivalry between fast food chains has intensified recently, and costs and creativity are at stake. Burger King has once again decided to venture into the crazy snack combo competition. Its latest creation: Mac n’ Cheetos.

This new hand-held version of mac n’ cheese is supposedly perfect for snacking. Similarly to mozzarella sticks, Mac n’ Cheetos contain creamy macaroni & cheese with a crispy Cheetos shell. This 310 calories of deep-fried goodness became available last week at selected locations.

While Burger King boldly and repeatedly has chosen to break new fast food ground, I was a bit hesitant upon hearing of their latest offering. Perhaps I’m being influenced by some of their past risky innovations that have made my stomach uneasy: The Whopperito and Chicken Fries Rings, for instance.

But my initial wariness is fading. The more I hear, the more willing I am becoming to give Mac n’ Cheetos a try. Why? Surprisingly good reviews describing these deep-fried sticks of classic mac n’ cheese surrounded by Cheetos breadcrumbs have been dominating social media. And at $2.49, the cost is low. (Let’s stay away from the question of what the real cost here might be…)

As a member of millennial market, I can attest that Burger King is reaching us the right way:

  1. Pairing an unexpected combination of two foods we loved from childhood and making it ok for us to love those foods today.
  2. Launching said unique food combo with big budget ads across pretty much all media, including TV. (Yes, we still watch TV and the commercials, especially when childhood fave Chester Cheetah is unboxing a new treat, saying things like, “Finally a way to eat mac ‘n cheese that won’t drip on your fur – something we can all relate to.”)
  3. Making sure we are hearing about Mac n’ Cheetos through an inescapable online buzz strategy – one that we’re part of as we eagerly spread the word. (Partially because it’s really fun to say Mac n’ Cheetos…)

Congratulations to Burger King for daringly thinking outside the box, the bun, and the bag. They’re not just combining two great tastes — they’re combining a unique product, strong advertising, and smart social strategy.  That’s why BK is currently ruling the fast food kingdom.


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