Burger King Puts the Whopper Ingredient List Front and Center to Highlight ‘Real’ Ingredients

The limited-time packaging highlights an ongoing commitment to remove additives

Burger King wants to reassure customers it uses real ingredients. Burger King / David Miami

Burger King’s journey to reassure (or convince) customers that its burgers are made with simple ingredients began in earnest with its boundary-pushing, multi award-winning Moldy Whopper campaign back in February.

That campaign, which showed Burger King sandwiches moldering over a month as a way of highlight the lack of preservatives, even recently won one of marketing’s highest honors, the D&AD Black Pencil, for agencies David Miami, Publicis and Ingo.

For the next stop on that journey, David Miami has now designed Whopper wrappers that prominently list the ingredients inside: beef, tomatoes, mayo, lettuce, ketchup, pickles and a bun. The limited-time packaging will roll out today.

The move is designed to show that Burger King’s signature sandwich now contains no colors, no flavors and no preservatives from artificial sources and taps into the growing trend for transparency around ingredients.

Burger King wants to make more of its “real food” and “high-quality ingredients” and said it had made “substantial changes” to its menu, including removing around 8,500 tons of artificial ingredients globally. 

In the U.S, it added, 5% of Burger King’s permanent food menu is now free of colors, flavors, and preservatives from artificial sources, and the brand is striving to achieve 100% by the beginning of 2021. 

To support the limited-time packaging and promote its real foods messaging the brand is also rolling out an ad, featuring people speaking about what makes Burger King Burger King.

Burger King isn’t the only brand to put its ingredients front and center on its packaging. Last year, Bud Light added ingredient labels and on-pack serving facts to its packaging in a bid to be more transparent with consumers and highlight its minimal ingredient list of water, barley, rice and hops. The brand added the information voluntarily–as U.S. federal food labeling guidelines don’t apply to alcohol—though it’s something consumer and health advocates have been pressing the beer industry on for years.

Fernando Machado, Burger King global chief marketing officer, said: “We know that real food tastes better and are working hard to remove all preservatives, colors and flavors from artificial sources from the burgers and food we serve in all countries around the world. Through our ‘Restaurant Brands for Good’ framework, we are committed to doing the right thing and continuously improving the quality of our food.”

Agency: David Miami
Global chief creative officer & partner: Pancho Cassis
Global chief operating officer: Sylvia Panico
Managing director: Ricardo Honegger
Group creative director: Fernando Pellizzaro, Jean Zamprogno
Associate creative director: Curtis Caja, Jose Sancho
Sr. copywriter: Nellie Santee, Lucas Silva
Sr. art director: Sergio Takahata
Global chief strategy officer: Paula Vampre
Planner: Vanessa Amaral
Group account director: Stefane Rosa
Management supervisor: Jenny Gobel
Account executive: Rachel Startz
Executive producer: Brenda Morrison Fell, Carlos Torres
Producer: Ricardo Ceballos
Associate producer: Tomas Diego
Senior business affairs manager: Barbara Karalis
Business affairs manager: Elizabeth Torriente
Client: Burger King
Production (Live Action): Division7
Director: Kris Belman
Executive producer: David Richards/Kamila Prokop
Director of photography: Bob Chappell
Producer: Jon Dawes
Production manager: Dannikke Walkker
Production designer: Ron Beach
Production (Food): Woodshop Studios
Director: Trevor Shepard
Executive producer: Sam Swisher
Director of photography: Tom Lazarevich
Producer: Ursula Camack
Production designer: Erin Dellesandro
Producer: Ursula Camack
Editorial & finishing: Cosmo Street Editorial
Editor: Justin Trovato
Editor: Hugo Jordan
Animation & finishing artist: Nico Cragnolino
Assistant editor: Alexandra Jimenez
Producer: Tina Evanow
Producer: Natalie Rey
HOP: Marie Mangahas
EP/ managing partner: Yvette Cobarrubias
Audio: Lime Studios
Mixer: Adam Primack
Senior producer: Kayla Phungglan
EP: Susie Boyajan
Color: Apache
Colorist: Quinn Alvarez
Senior producer: Caitlin Forrest
EP/ managing partner: LaRue Anderson
Media: Horizon Media & Scout
Brand director: Mara Pluim
Director, digital: Brian Zai
Social media: MullenLowe U.S
Executive creative director: Tim Vaccarino
Executive creative director: Dave Weist
SVP, creative director: Enrique Camacho
Associate creative director: Cody Dummer
Jr. art director: Seiji Wakabayashi
Jr. copywriter: Thomas Nitti
Content producer: Maurice Loach
Editor: Drew Russell
VP, director of digital creative production: Steve Haroutunian
Sr. digital producer: Chris Badders
Sr. motion designer: Jeremiah True
Layout artist: Erinn Scammon
SVP, group strategy director: Mike Cassell
Brand strategist: Adriana Solache
Community manager: Morgan Playle
Project management supervisor: Nicole Capone
Account director: Alison Whisenant
Design: FiveHundred Degrees Design Studio
President: Matt Wilson
Chief operating officer / EVP: Shawn Brown
Chief client officer: Kim Hughes
Executive creative director: Michael Piekarski
Sr. account executive: Mary Williams
Account coordinator: Alexis Wells
Producer: Holly Henson
Creative director: Luis Ferrero
Associate creative director: Liz Samuelson
Senior copywriter: Thomas Barry
Photography: Burklehagen
Partner / lead photographer: Andrew Burkle
Partner: David Hagen
Food stylist: Laura Goble
SVP: Brooke Scher Mogan
VP: Adrianna Lauricella
Director: Dara Schopp
JAE: Mollie Birer

@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.