A trend that is only growing among consumers is the desire for better, healthier ingredients in their food, even fast food. For Burger King Global Chief Marketing Officer Fernando Machado, the effort to make the fast food giant healthier has become a larger part of his role.
On Tuesday morning during Advertising Week, Machado gave a keynote speech in a panel called “Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. But Do It,” and afterward took questions from the audience. Machado shared that half of his time today is dedicated to ensuring the removal of additives in Burger King’s food, such as artificial sweeteners. The company has been dedicated to doing so for the past four to five years, he says, but it’s a long and difficult process.
“It’s not easy to remove preservatives from food,” says Machado, wearing hamburger socks and a burger pin. “We’ve done a lot and we haven’t communicated it because it’s not 100-percent there.” Most recently, Burger King began rolling out its plant-based Impossible Whopper to stores across the country.
He sees cleaning up BK’s product lineup as a necessity to ensure the legacy of the company. “I’m trying to invest a lot of time to make sure the brand is ready for 2030, and not just for next year,” he says. It’s also personal goal for him. He describes wanting his four-year-old son Leo to have the freedom to eat anything on the Burger King menu he wants. “I want him to be able to go to Burger King and feel good about it,” he says.