All the talk inside American burger franchise circles this week is the news that Wendy's looks poised to become the country's second-biggest burger business, overtaking its old rival Burger King.
Janney Capital Markets released the news earlier this week, stating that it expects to Wendy's to assume the mantle behind McDonald's sometime in 2012. This is staggering news in the burger world which will have huge ramifications for how food franchises market themselves.
The difference seems to be both in the burger and how the burger is marketed.
“To us, flame-broiling and ‘Have it your way’ are not nearly enough to connect with many of today’s sophisticated burger-sector consumers," Mark Kalinowski of Janney said. According to the Financial Times, BK's ads with Crispin Porter + Bogusky have been criticized from many corners, has shipped a massive chunk of its hold on the burger market in recent years:
"Burger King, which once held about 20 per cent of the $65bn hamburger market, fell to 13.3 per cent last year and could soon dip below 10 percent."
On the other hand, Wendy's commitment to better burgers seems to be reaping huge rewards. McDonald's seems to untouchable at the moment, but for so long, Burger King was considered their leading rival. Now there's a new player in town.