Fast Food

The Marketing of Fast Food vs. the Reality: 5 Sad Before-and-After Pics

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Fri, Aug 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

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click to enlarge Burger King's rib sandwich - MALCOLM BEDELL
  • Malcolm Bedell
  • Burger King's rib sandwich
3. Burger King Rib Sandwich

The Pitch: "Our new Boneless Rib Sandwich combines a juicy boneless rib patty with a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, and topped with crispy bread and butter pickles, all on a warm toasted artisan-style bun."

The Reality: Further solidifying Burger King's newfound role as the "also-ran" of the fast food world, the chain has decided once and for all to challenge McDonald's dominance of the pressed-pork-puck marketplace. Don't misunderstand; we're big fans of generic, rib-shaped ground pork parts, slathered in barbecue sauce and sliced pickles (since, after all, the only way to improve on a McDonald's McNugget is to make it out of pork). We approached Burger King's version of the sandwich with a fair amount of excitement, since its inclusion on the regular menu meant we would no longer be subject to the artificial scarcity McDonald's creates around its sandwich each year.

Unfortunately, a McRib it ain't. Maybe it's the missing chopped onions, the too-sweet pickles or the round form, but something just isn't bum-rushing our pleasure receptors in the same way as the original version.

click to enlarge KFC's chicken bites - MALCOLM BEDELL
  • Malcolm Bedell
  • KFC's chicken bites
2. KFC's "Hot Shot Bites"

The Pitch: "Like a slap to your taste buds."

The Reality: These proved to be one of the few bright spots in our recent tasting, with an overall presentation that proved strikingly similar to the product photography. Maybe that's not surprising when talking about these simple breaded-and-fried chunks of chicken knuckle; after all, if they arrive to your car both "hot" and "in a box," the battle is already half-won. These "Hot Shots" are so much more than good looks, though: They pack a spicy wallop that's unusual (and welcome!) in most mass-market, factory-to-table food items like these.

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