Burger King launches new Halloween Whopper LTO
Global businesses are in a unique position.
While core products should define the business model no matter what country they are in, on the sidelines, companies are often required to take some liberties with localized products to appeal to specific regions.
Last year, for example, Burger King Japan captured international attention with its Kuro Burger, a limited time offer (LTO) featuring a charcoal-tinted black bun, black cheese, and a garlic-and-pepper heavy black sauce.
While the burger’s novel and unusual appearance captivated foodies on a global level, it seemed pretty clear that a burger with the same flavors would fail to attract consumers in the North American market. So Burger King got savvy, launching a new Halloween Whopper that takes the visual impact of the Kuro Burger and marries it to familiar and welcome taste.
In its press release announcing the new burger, Burger King confirmed that its Halloween Whopper burger is absolutely inspired by the buzzworthy Kuro Burger it launched in Japan, cultural localization is certainly at work here—in a press release announcing this latest launch, Burger King asserted that while its new burger is “curious to the eye,” its flavor is “familiar and savory to the palate.”
The flavor behind the Americanized version of the black-bunned burger is none other than A1 steak sauce—a logical choice of partner, as Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital share equity and interest in both Burger King and Kraft Heinz Company (the parent behind the A1 brand).
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The burger will feature A1’s smoky flavor baked directly into the bun, as well as a layer of A1 Thick and Hearty Sauce added to the more classic Whopper toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and mayonnaise:
“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,” said Eric Hirschhorn, Chief Marketing Officer, for the BURGER KING® Brand North America. “We tailored the flavor of the black bun to the American palate with A.1. sauce, a flavor this country loves, and we’re delivering it in a way that’s never been done before by baking it into the bun. It may look Japanese but it tastes like America.”
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This is perfectly in line with Burger King’s current strategy. Burger King is all about the partnerships lately, and while they don’t always come together the way that the royal Miami-based burger chain might like, they often tend to equate to some great publicity.
What’s more, this new LTO managed to appeal to American tastes while maintaining some of the unusual intrigue that makes novelty limited offers so much fun.
If enough consumers are fascinated enough to bite, this could give Burger King a strong boost for the season.
Click here to read the September 2015 edition of Business Review USA!
Dark Wolf: accelerating security for USAF
As a small company whose biggest customers are the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community, Dark Wolf Solutions (Dark Wolf) is a triple-threat, specializing in Cybersecurity, Software and DevOps, and Management Solutions. Dark Wolf secures and tests cloud platforms, develops and deploys applications, and offers consultancy services performing system engineering, system integration, and mission support.
The break for Dark Wolf came when the Department of Defense decided to explore software factories. Rick Tossavainen, Dark Wolf’s CEO, thinks it was an inspired path for the DoD to take. “It was a really great decision,” he says, “Let’s pull our people together as part of this digital transformation and recreate what Silicon Valley startup firms typically have. Let’s get into commercial facilities where we have open windows and big whiteboards and just promote ideation and collaboration. And it creates this collaborative environment where people start creating things much more rapidly than before.”
It has been, Tossavainen says, “amazing to watch” and has energized the Federal Contracting Sector with an influx of new talent and improved working environments that foster creativity and innovative ways of approaching traditional problems.
“We originally started working with the US Air Force about three years ago. The problem was at the time you could develop all the software you wanted but you couldn’t get it into production – you had to go through the traditional assessment and authorization process. I talked to Lauren Knausenberger and she told me about Kessel Run and what eventually came out of this was the DoD’s first continuous ATO [Authority To Operate].”
The secret to Dark Wolf’s success – and its partnerships with USAF and Space Force – lies in a client-first attitude. “We’re not looking to maximise revenue,” Tossavainen explains. “We tell all of our employees, if you’re ever faced with an issue and you don’t know how to resolve it, and one solution is better for the customer and the second is better for Dark Wolf, you always do number one. We’ve just got to take care of our customers, and I look for other partners that want to do that. And let’s work together so that we can bring them the best answer we can.”
Rapid releases and constant evolution of software are common themes among USAF’s partners. Like many firms operating in the commercial and public sector spaces, Dark Wolf leads with a DevSecOps approach.
“Failure is tolerated,” says Tossavainen. “If it’s not going the right way in three months, let’s adjust. Let’s rapidly change course. And you can tell really quickly if something’s going to be successful or not, because they’re doing deployments multiple times a day – to the customer.”