Can Burger King Battle the McRib?

Fast food carnivores are going to have some difficult decisions to make this summer, as Burger King (NYSE:BKW)  is shifting its attention away from beef this season and rolling out its own boneless rib sandwich, an item once exclusive to McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) menu. The global fast-food chain will formally announce its summer menu plans on Thursday with items becoming available May 21, USA Today reports.

The new, limited-time BK Rib Sandwich will no doubt be one of the new menu’s most talked about items, considering the McDonald’s McRib has attracted a school of fiercely loyal followers. Only time will tell if the BK Rib Sandwich can inspire as many Facebook pages, websites, and Twitter accounts as the McRib has.

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Similarly to the McRib, the BK Rib Sandwich will be boneless and come with a tangy sauce. According to Time, it will be priced around  $3.49 a la carte, or $5.59 as a meal with fries and a drink. Other summer menu items will include the Memphis Pulled Pork sandwiches, a line of Carolina barbecue sandwiches, and sweet potato fries.

Despite accusations that Burger King copies its competition, it claims that its innovations merely cater to the ever-changing taste buds and preferences of its customers. Eric Hirschhorn, vice president of global innovation, says that its younger customers ”are attracted to robust and regional flavor offerings.” The rib sandwich, which has been ten months in the making, promises to offer that very flavor, and with a reasonable price tag — a factor that is especially important in today’s economy.

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Can the BK Rib take on its fierce competition? Stay tuned for May 21.

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