The food industry is a highly competitive one. Americans love their fast food and the concept has quickly spread across the entire globe. But all isn’t good under the “Golden Arches.” There is a ton of competition with over 200,000 fast food locations in the United States alone. The numbers are truly staggering. Revenue growth from fast food restaurants have skyrocketed from $6 billion in 1970 to over $160 billion in 2014. That is an average growth rate of 8.6 per cent over a 44-year period. Very impressive numbers.
Fast food tends to focus on high volume, low cost, speedy food products. The idea is to get the best food possible out as quickly as possible under these fast-paced conditions. Consistency is generally a hallmark of these franchises, with someone from Chicago in the United States guaranteed to see similar offerings at their favorite chain when visiting Montreal, Canada. This branding has lent itself to massive growth in the business. However, there are constant pressures to be original and people are more conscious about health these days than ever before.
Fast food chains go through various promotional items which sometimes are geared toward their geographic targets. Meaning, a specific promotion in Europe for McDonalds may never see the light of day in the United States. Aggressive marketing and the push for originality have led fast food chains to go all out in creating new and more inventive food products. Just the marketing alone of a creative item can draw the company enough attention to make it worthwhile. And sometimes, these products land on the insane scale, like a mad scientist cooking up wild inventions in his lab.
These are 10 Weird Promotional Food Offerings At Your Favorite Fast Food Chains.
10. Pizza Hut’s Crown Crust Cheeseburger Pizza – Cheesy Diet
Pizza Hut has delivered a variety of pizza creations over the years and is constantly battling for second behind delivery giant, Dominos. Pizza Hut came up with the marvelous creation many years back called the Stuffed Crust Pizza. This added cheese in the crust (because pizzas always lack cheese.) But Pizza Hut needed a big hook so they went out on a limb and tried to cut into the popular cheeseburger market (cause when you think Pizza Hut, you think great angus beef!). Thus, the Pizza Hut braintrust created the Crown Crust Cheeseburger Pizza.
The goal of this insanity was to fuse two of the most popular food concepts together into one crazy love child. The promotion was featured in the Middle East because apparently people on the Gaza Strip weren’t happy with just stuffed crust pizza. The end result was a complicated creation that was poorly executed as one food critic described as “a mutant pizza,” and continued with “a pizza experiment that had clearly gone completely, and horribly, wrong.”
9. Burger King’s Bacon Sundae – Bacon On Everything!
Burger King came out with an interesting promotion back in the summer of 2012. This promotional hail mary is made up of vanilla soft serve ice cream and topped with hot fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a nice piece of bacon to round it out. Burger King promoted the item as “sweet and savory made with cool, creamy and velvety vanilla soft serve, chocolate fudge and smooth caramel, made to order with our new thick hardwood smoked bacon.”
Okay, the words sound inviting until you remember you are combining bacon with a sundae. I know everyone says “bacon on everything.” But we are being sarcastic, not literal Burger King. We like it on our meals. But when it comes to desert, we don’t need salty in our sundaes. We want more sugar on top of our sugar. This promotion did not last long.
8. Pizza Hut KitKat Pops – Doughy Kat
Food innovators Pizza Hut needed a snazzy new desert menu item. This item was only available in the Middle East and consisted of individual KitKat bars that were wrapped in sweet pizza dough. After you wrap the chocolate candy inside the dough, you bake them all together. The pops did make their way to the US mainland to a few locations. Now, this may seem crazy, but if you throw some chocolate inside of some rolled up crescent rolls and bake them, you get a similar tasty desert. I can attest that it does taste amazing. This idea may seem like a long shot compared to the “fried everything” candy deserts in the United States (fried Oreos, fried candy bars, etc.). But wrapping the chocolate in dough and baking tastes great and you don’t have to deal with the dirty tasting fryer oil. This creation is both interesting and good. Feel free to try at home at your leisure!
7. Quick’s Darth Vader Burger – May The Force Be With Your Colon
European Fast Food chain Quick wanted to make a big creative splash in the food market. They decided to link up with the 2012 release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D. The food promotion was quite menacing with black hamburger buns holding together a double cheeseburger. The burger invention got quite a bit of viral activity due to its blackened burger buns. On a side note, Burger King has copied this incarnation multiple times after Quick. One unfortunate side effect to the black burgers is that they tend to turn your poop black. Some customers complained and have become nervous over the black burger buns, but aside from what you see in the toilet, there hasn’t been much to say about the quality. It’s all pretty much a gimmick surrounding low-quality cheap hamburger meat.
6. Dunkin’ Donuts Bacon, Egg and Cheese On A Donut – I’ll Take A Heart Attack To Go
Dunkin’ Donuts is an American giant in the donut and coffee industry. They dominate the east coast and have a variety of food offerings. Their breakfast sandwiches were pretty much in line with a lot of other fast food companies. They have their bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. They have a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. They put them on different breads. But when they unveiled the glazed donut bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, some people tilted their head to the side. The head food folks at these restaurants have to know that the majority of people do not want bacon with their desert items. I will say that chocolate dipped bacon is pretty awesome though! This strange combination can be substituted for other doughnuts, although I’m not really sure why you’d even bother. My suggestion, get the croissant version and a glazed doughnut on the side if you’re that obsessed. Otherwise, forget about it.
5. Burger King’s Kuro Pearl Burger – Black Death
I’m not certain why fast food chains are trying to feed us bread products that are black. It seems sort of odd to make the color of their food products the same color stuff gets when mold festers for a real long time. Burger King went a step further than the European chain, Quick, when they introduced this crazy incarnation. The burger features black buns, black cheese and is made with bamboo charcoal, a black-pepper burger, onion and garlic sauce made with squid ink. Two things here: black cheese and did they say, squid ink? What the hell? I am going to do a big pass on this one. When you can’t tell what stage of mold your food is in, you are pretty much allowing fast food joints to poison you.
4. Kentucky Fried Chicken Double Down Dog – Double Time On The Pottie
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC for those down with the Colonel) has a tremendous reputation as the one-stop-shop for fried chicken. Their chicken, biscuits and mashed potatoes are part of their legendary family combo meals that have delighted families for many years. However, pressure to come up with a snazzy new item led the colonel himself to come up with one of the strangest food creations of all time.
Just this year, KFC released this new promotional item in the Philippines. It is a hot dog but instead of buns wrapped around the piece of mystery meat, we get fried chicken. So you got fried chicken surrounding a hot dog and then the kicker is the melted cheese drizzled over the dog. Needless to say, we’re going to pass on this one. And on a side note, KFC has no plans to bring the item to the United States. Shocker.
3. Wendy’s Premium Lobster And Caviar Sandwich – Lobster Cravings
Wendy’s is known for their square burger patties and a strange girl with red hair on their logo. The successful worldwide fast food chain is not as well known for delivering lobster atop their menu items. In Japan, fish and sushi are a part of their daily diets. So, in a way, it makes sense that Wendy’s franchises in Japan would try to tap into this market.
But with their Premium Lobster and Caviar Sandwich, perhaps the company has gone just a tad too off the beat and path. The sandwich features both claw meat and lobster salad topped with a mustardy mayonnaise and sprinkled with caviar. For a cool $16.28, this sandwich can be yours! It probably tastes really good, but at a Wendy’s?
2. Dunkin Donuts Pork And Seaweed Donut – About Time
Well, sometimes you see a food item and you are leveled speechless. With this one, you got to just shake your head and wonder what the hell was going on when they came upon with this Frankenstein of a creation. Dunkin Donuts is a powerhouse when it comes to doughnuts but never in our wildest dreams would we have concocted a doughnut that combines the amazing flavor of glaze, pork and seaweed. That’s right, a pork and seaweed doughnut!
This insane creation was made just for China. In this country, pork and seaweed are a common flavor combination. Okay, we can get that. But merging that with a glazed doughnut? No, no my friend. I’ll take my glazed doughnut plain and you can keep the pork and seaweed flavoring to yourself.
1. Pizza Hut’s Double Sensation – Double Trouble Indigestion
There’s creative when it comes to pizza and then there’s crazy creative. File this under the latter. You got to give Pizza Hut credit when it comes to this one. The “Double Sensation” offering was featured in Singapore. Instead of just one ring of stuffed crust, this crazy pie features two rings, an outer ring and an inner ring. The outer ring is stuffed with melted mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar cheeses that ooze out of holes in the crust. In addition, the outer pie is topped with turkey, ham, bell peppers, mushroom and a salsa sauce.
Now to the inner crust. This one is filled with chicken sausage and cheese! The innermost pie is then topped with smoked chicken, zucchini and a pepper Alfredo sauce. And what would top this pizza off you may ask? A cherry. And really, they put a cherry in the middle as the topper. This comes in at $27.49 for a large. Definitely crazy creative.