Sun, 08 Apr 2001

Burger King promoting green dipping sauce, drinks, ketchup

MIAMI (AP): Children like toys, but their search for fun also extends to food, and Burger King is hoping children will find fun in its new green ketchup, green apple-flavored dipping sauce and green frozen drinks.

"Chooze the Ooze" is the four-week campaign the world's second largest hamburger chain is launching on April 9, Miami-based Burger King Corp. officials announced on Thursday in a release.

Children actually want to be entertained by their food, not just by toys, according to a "qualitative research conducted by Burger King Corporation," the release reads in part.

"Children have voiced a clear preference for the unexpected in food," said Brian Gies, director of youth and family marketing for the restaurant chain.

"With Heinz EZ Squirt Blastin Green now ranking as the number one selling children condiment, we're giving children what they clearly want - entertainment."

Each Kids Meal and Big Kids Meal sold the next four weeks will include two packets of the green ketchup, which cannot legally be named ketchup because it's not red.

Also included will be green dipping sauce called Gooey Green Apple Ooze and Frozen Green Minute Maid Cherry Treats drinks. Red ketchup will still be available for children who don't like green.

The promotion also makes good fiscal sense for Burger King, as the green ketchup costs the same as the traditional red.

Children eating at Burger King with their families also make up one-third of the chain's business, "with average (meal) checks triple that of a single user", according to the release.

Burger King, which operates more than 11,330 restaurants in all 50 states and in 58 countries, had systemwide sales of US$11.4 billion in 2000. It is owned by Diageo PLC, a London- based international food and drinks company.