Will Burger King’s Black-Bun #HalloweenWhopper Be a Bonanza or Bust?


The “Burger Wars” continue. Starting today, McDonald’s is offering all-day breakfast in a move to boost stagnant sales.

Not to be outdone, Burger King began offering a new Halloween Whopper on September 28 with a black bun infused with A1 steak sauce.

It’s the boldest move from Burger King since it stunned rival McDonald’s with its proposal to create a McWhooper – a mashup of the Whopper and the Big Mac – to commemorate Peace Day on September 21. McDonald’s passed on the idea.

It’s commonly said that we eat with our eyes. So does Burger King’s black-bun burger have some customers seeing red … or in some cases, green? Numerous media outlets are reporting that the new burger has an unusual side effect – green poop.

Not surprising, social media’s reaction to the Halloween Whopper has run the gamut from curiosity to delight to dismay. But one thing is certain, Burger King’s new marketing campaign is garnering buzz.

This black burger isn’t completely out of left field for Burger King. It’s similar to a burger it offers in Japan. However, the Japanese burger is made with squid ink, while its American cousin uses A1 for its mahogany hue.

“Our U.S. guests have been extremely curious about the bun flavors they’ve seen introduced in Japan and other countries, so we saw the opportunity to bring them an equally unique experience…It may look Japanese, but it tastes like America,” said Eric Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America in a news release.

This isn’t the first time Burger King has played with our color sensibilities.

Three years ago, the burger behemoth teamed up with Heinz to bring us green ketchup as part of a St. Patrick’s Day promotion, in which free fries were given away with packets of emerald sauce.

Remember how well that turned out? Me either.

It was a take on a Heinz initiative back in 2000 that brought us the short-lived Heinz E-Z Squirt, which included Crayola-colored ketchups in green, purple, teal, blue and pink. Perhaps it was short lived for a reason.

The question remains: Will Burger King’s Halloween Whopper be a hit or will it be relegated to the “nice try” archives of food and beverage promotions along with New Coke? We’ll have to wait for the final sales numbers at the end of the month.

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