Carl’s Jr. Pumps Up Breakfast Sandwich

NEW YORK CKE Restaurants continues to live up to its reputation of serving up “food porn” (as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, so colorfully called its Hardee’s Thickburgers).

This week, Carl’s Jr. introduced its “Monster Breakfast Sandwich.” Between two pieces of sourdough bread sit two eggs, two pieces of bacon, a sausage patty and cheese. Ads via Mendelsohn/Zien Advertising in Los Angeles tout the sandwich as “Breakfast as Big as Our Burgers.”

The new product, which retails for $2.89, joins Carl’s Jr. “Breakfast Burger” as a filling, inexpensive option. The introduction comes after its sister chain Hardee’s successful October launch of the 920-calorie “Country Breakfast Burrito.”

CKE has been unapologetic about its calorie-filled burgers and often sex-filled ads. While CSPI figuratively made the porn analogy to its food, watchdogs have made the literal assessment of its steamy ads — most notably, its infamous Paris Hilton spot.

Monster Breakfast Sandwich ads depict customers ordering tiny breakfast portions at various types of restaurants. “You wouldn’t eat like this in a restaurant. Why do it in a fast-food place?” says the voiceover.

“As we looked for compelling ways to make Carl’s Jr. breakfast menu stand out from the crowd, our consumer research revealed that many people felt that the typical fast-food breakfast items really didn’t fill them up, so much so that they often ordered two sandwiches to get enough food,” said Brad Haley, evp, marketing at Carl’s Jr., Carpinteria, Calif., in a statement. “So we satisfied that need in a big way.” He added that the portion is not unlike the amount of food a consumer would order at a diner.

The chain’s most recent campaign “Fake Restaurant” broke in May. It recorded actual patrons happily paying up to $20 for a hamburger that was revealed to be Carl’s Jr.’s “Six Dollar Burger.”

Carl’s Jr. spent $60 million on media last year and more than $25 million for the first five months of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The chain pulled in $1.3 billion in sales last year. This was up 3.5 percent over the year prior, per Technomic, Chicago.