CORRECT: Burger King Adding Kids Meal At Breakfast This Month

Date : 07/20/2010 @ 3:34PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Burger King Holdings (BKC)
Quote : 23.99  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM

CORRECT: Burger King Adding Kids Meal At Breakfast This Month

Burger King Holdings (NYSE:BKC)
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Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC) is launching a new breakfast meal for kids later this month as the chain looks to make the morning meal a bigger part of business.

The new kids meal will include an egg-and-cheese English muffin sandwich, apples cut into fries and Minute Maid apple juice, for a suggested price of $3.38, Mike Kappitt, Burger King's marketing chief for North America, said in a recent interview.

It will be Burger King's first nutritionally compliant kids meal at breakfast, with 410 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium. This meets nutritional standards the chain signed onto through the Council of Better Business Bureaus' initiative for advertising food and beverages to kids. As such, Burger King will run television commercials for the meal starting July 26, the same day the meal will be available.

Burger King is trying to make breakfast a bigger part of its pie. Currently, Burger King gets 14% of its sales during the morning, compared to McDonald's Corp. (MCD), with about 25%. McDonald's has never had a breakfast version of its iconic Happy Meal nationwide, a spokeswoman said.

Burger King plans to start a big push behind breakfast sometime this fall, with new items like platters with pancakes and other premium-priced products.

It has already started laying a foundation. Burger King restaurants in U.S. and Canada are starting to sell Starbucks Corp.'s (SBUX) Seattle's Best Coffee, replacing the chain's previous coffee BK Joe. Burger King in March also added a $1 BK Muffin sandwich and a premium-priced BK Breakfast Bowl.

The chain delayed debuting a revamped breakfast last year due to the economic downturn, which hurt morning sales across fast-food as fewer customers stopped in on their way to work.

Other chains are also trying to grow their morning business, threatening McDonald's dominance. Wendy's, of Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc. (WEN), and Yum Brands Inc.'s (YUM) Taco Bell are both testing breakfast in a few markets, while privately held Subway in April started selling breakfast at its more than 25,000 U.S. and Canada stores.

McDonald's is fighting back with a $1 menu at breakfast, which has helped attract customers in the morning.

Burger King's new kids meal at breakfast also comes as its top competitor McDonald's faces criticism over how it advertises to kids.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has threatened to sue McDonald's for using toys to promote Happy Meals. McDonald's Chief Executive Jim Skinner has vigorously defended the practice.

Burger King shares closed Monday at $16.88, and are down 10.3% this year, worse than a 3.9% drop in the S&P 500, on concerns of a slow consumer recovery in fast-food.

-By Paul Ziobro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2194;


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