New Veggie Burger to Be Sold Alongside Whoppers

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Burger King Corp., Miami, will introduce a veggie burger as its latest permanent-menu item.

The meatless sandwich, which will sell for $1.99, will be backed by a dedicated print ad from McCaffrey, Ratner, Gottlieb & Lane, New York. The sandwich is set to launch March 18.

The theme for the campaign is "Not your garden variety." Ads are set to appear in USA Today.

The theme will extend to a multi-product TV spot from Amoeba, Santa Monica, Calif.

Industry observers are skeptical, but hopeful, the veggie offering will work.

"It hasn't proven to be a very successful menu item in quick service in the past, but I think consumers are more receptive to healthier options," said Bob Goldin, VP at restaurant consultant Technomic. "It's going to take some sustained advertising and promotional effort to let people know it's there and get people to try it. If it doesn't taste good, all bets are off."

In 1995, Advantica Restaurant Group's Denny's launched a veggie burger, and last November, McDonald's tested its own version in India.

Subway Restaurants offers a veggie burger in about one-fourth of its stores.

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