Big King

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This article is about the hamburger. For the hill in Auckland, New Zealand, see Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta.
Big King
BK Big King (2014).jpg
North American version of
the BK Big King sandwich.
Nutritional value per 1 sandwich (196 g)
Energy 490 kcal (2,100 kJ)
32 g (11%)
Sugars 7 g
Dietary fiber 2 g (8%)
28 g (43%)
Saturated 11 g (60%)
Trans 1 g
27 g
Trace minerals
700 mg
Other constituents
Cholesterol 85 mg

All data displayed follow the Canadian Food and Drug Act and Regulation regarding the rounding of nutritional data.
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: Burger King Canada

The Big King sandwich is one of the major hamburger products sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King that is sold internationally in several forms. It was originally configured identically to the McDonald's Big Mac including a three piece roll. It was later reformulated as a standard double burger, and given several variations on its name, including Double Supreme and King Supreme. The product was discontinued in United States after the late 1990s, but it returned to said market in November 2013 as a permanent product; the product is also available in several other countries in different formats. There is also a chicken variant of the sandwich in the United States and Canada. There is an European version of the sandwich called the Big King XXL that is based on the company's Whopper sandwich and is part of a line of larger double cheeseburgers known as the BK XXL line.

The company markets several variants of the burger between international markets, with or without the center roll, in the various regions and countries in which it does business. To promote continuing interest in the product, Burger King occasionally releases limited-time variants on the Big King. Being one of the company's major offerings, the Big King sandwich is sometimes at the center of advertising promotions, product tie-ins. Additionally, as a major product in the company's portfolio, Burger King has registered many global trademarks to protect its investment in the product.


The Big King was preceded by a similar sandwich called the Double Supreme cheeseburger which was released in January 1996 at a point where rival McDonald's was having difficulties within the American market. Hoping to build on improving sales of Burger King and take advantage of perceived market weakness of McDonald's, the chain introduced the Double Supreme as part of a advertising blitz against its competitor.[1] Originally, the burger had a look and composition that resembled the Big Mac: it had two beef patties, "King" sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a three-part sesame seed bun. Because its patties are flame-broiled and larger than McDonald's grill fried, seasoned hamburger patties and the different formulation of the "King Sauce" vs. McDonald's "Special sauce", the sandwich had a similar, but not exact, taste and different caloric content.[2]

The sandwich was renamed the Big King and reintroduced in the summer of 1997.[3] In 2001, the company re-branded it to the King Supreme name as part of a menu reorganization designed to better compete with a similar planned menu expansion at McDonald's early the next year.[2] While the sandwich was discontinued in the United States in 2003, sales continued in Canada and parts of Europe.[4] Other variants of the sandwich in Canada and parts of South and Central America include as single patty version; a larger version, called the Big King XXL, is sold in in Europe.[5]

The original version of the Big King was reintroduced as a permanent menu item in 2013,[6][7] with a chicken variant introduced in May 2014.[8]

A primary reason the product was brought back was because of a new approach by the company was taking regarding new and LTO products; instead of putting out large numbers of products that may only appeal to a small audience, it instead would only add a smaller amount of products that have broader market appeal.[9][10] Along with its BK Chicken Fries product, the Big King was part of that goal, with the re-introduction utilizing a three prong approach: its stated intention to introduce products to those that will have most impact, a bid to appeal to Millennials utilizing social media focused campaigns, and to utilize a former product from its portfolio that the company probably should have thought about before discontinuing.[11] The idea of reintroducing older products is appealing to companies such as Burger King and McDonald's because it is operationally easier than launching a completely new product by allowing a company to utilize older advertising along with its existing supply chain already which is already established to deliver the product ingredients. The limited-time offers allow chains to bring "new" product the menu without adding permanent complexity to their kitchen operations.[12]

Burger King accredited the reintroduction of the Big King as helping the company regain a limited domestic same-store comparable sales rise of .1% in 2014 over a .9% loss the previous fiscal year.[13] At the same time the company's total sales were up 2%, with adjusted earnings per share increasing 19.7% to $0.20 per share. This contrasted with main competitor McDonald's only reported a 3% increase in global system-wide sales, a 0.5% rise in same-store sales, and a 1.7% decrease in same-store sales in the U.S. and Canada which the competitor attributed to "challenging industry dynamics and severe winter weather."[14]

Competitive products[edit]

As noted, the Big King sandwich was introduced to compete directly with the McDonald's Big Mac sandwich. It joins a group of sandwiches from other vendors that are designed as counters to the more well-known McDonald's sandwich. This includes the Big Shef sandwich originally from now-defunct chain Burger Chef and occasionally produced as a limited time offering (LTO) from current trademark owner Hardees.[15]

Product description[edit]

The Big King is a hamburger, consisting of two 2 oz (57 g) grilled beef patties, sesame seed bun, King Sauce (a Thousand Island dressing variant), iceberg lettuce, onions, pickles and American cheese.[16][17] When first reintroduced in 2013, the sandwich was made with two of the company's 1.7 oz (48 g) hamburger patties, but was modified in February 2014 to use two of the larger 2.0 oz (57 g) Whopper Jr. patties.[18]

Notable variants[edit]

The Mushroom & Swiss Big King

The Chicken Big King was added April 2014. This new variation on the original Big King sandwich was part of a corporate menu restructuring that began the previous year. The plan was part of Burger King CEO, Alex Macedo, to introduce simpler products that require few or no new ingredients in order to simplify operations. This new sandwich uses the companies existing Crispy Chicken Jr patty in place of the beef and adds an extra layer of King sauce to ensure that the product stays moist.[10]

The Big King XXL is part of a line of sandwiches consisting of larger, 1/2 pound double Burger King in the European and Middle Eastern markets. It is one of their late-teen to young-adult male-oriented products. Besides the Big King XXL, there are double cheeseburger and bacon double cheeseburger variants.[19][20]


The King Supreme debuted with an advertising campaign created by the McCaffery Ratner Gottlieb & Lane agency which featured blues legend B.B. King. The ads pushed the companies lunch and dinner periods as the best time to have the sandwich and had King doing a voice over in which he alternately talked or sang about the sandwiches.[21]

BK XXL[edit]

The ads for the XXL bacon double cheeseburger described the XXL as a Whopper "with two enormous portions of flame-broiled meat that will give you all the energy you need to take the world by storm," and used the tag line of "It's awful being a vegetarian, right?".[5]

The British and German ad program for a limited time offering (LTO) variant called the Cheesy Bacon XXL featured an edited version of the Manthem commercial created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky and originally used for the company's LTO Texas Double Whopper.[22][23] The line mentioning the Whopper was edited out and replaced and the picture of the product was digitally replaced with one of the Cheesy Bacon XXL. The ad was sung entirely in English; all signage, including road signs license plates on vehicles, etc., was not translated into German.[24]


The company's online advertising program in Spain stated that the BK XXL line as being made "with two enormous portions of flame-broiled meat that will give you all the energy you need to take the world by storm." This claim combined with the television advertising were the prime motivators behind the Spanish government's concerns with the XXL sandwich line. The government claimed that campaign violated an agreement with the government to comply with an initiative on curbing obesity by promoting such a large and unhealthy sandwich. In response to the government's claims, Burger King replied in a statement: "In this campaign, we are simply promoting a line of burgers that has formed part of our menu in recent years. Our philosophy can be summed up with the motto 'As you like it,' in which our customers' taste trumps all." The company went on to say the it offers other healthier items such as salads and that customers are free to choose their own foods and modify them as they desire.[5]

Naming and trademarks[edit]

The name Big King was originally a registered trademark of Burger King Holdings and displayed with the "circle-R" (®) symbol in its home market,[Notes 1] however the trademark was cancelled in 2005 and reassigned to an California-based ice cream manufacturer in 2014.[Notes 2] As of February, 2015 the name is displayed with the lesser raised "TM" symbol.[16] In most other markets the sandwich is sold it is a registered mark.[Notes 3] The name King Supreme and Double Supreme were registered trademarks in the US,[Notes 4][Notes 5] while the King Supreme is still registered in Canada.[Notes 6]

See also[edit]

Similar sandwiches by other vendors:


Trademark information

Related trademarks trademarks

1. Big King, USPTO serial #75292508, United States Patent and Trademark Office 
2. Big King, USPTO serial #86063373, United States Patent and Trademark Office 
3. Big King, OHIM trade mark #000620740, Office of Harminastion in the Market 
4. Double Supreme, USPTO serial #77813348, United States Patent and Trademark Office 
5. King Supreme, USPTO serial #76422121, United States Patent and Trademark Office 
6. King Supreme, USPTO serial #76422121, United States Patent and Trademark Office 


1. British trademarks with the "EU" prefix are European Community wide trademarks.
2. American and New Zealand trademark offices do not allow direct linking of trademark information.


  1. ^ Mcdowell, Bill (10 February 1997). "Burger King Ads Take Slap at MCD: it's Double Supreme vs. Big Mac while Price Positioning Continues". Ad Age (Crain Communications). Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Zuber, Amy (17 December 2001). "Listen up, Mac: BK aims to reign supreme, orders menu changes". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 4 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Lubow, Arthur (19 April 1998). "Steal This Burger". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 December 2007. Burger King reports that in blind tastings consumers prefer its recently introduced Big King to the Big Mac by a wide margin. 
  4. ^ King Supreme, Canada 
  5. ^ a b c "Spain Nixes Burger King Ad". CBS News. AP Wire. 16 November 2006. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007. 
  6. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (5 November 2013). "Burger King re-rolls out Big Mac-buster Big King". USAToday. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Wong, Vanessa (7 November 2013). "Burger King’s Big Mac Clone Becomes Even More of a Knockoff". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Patton, Leslie (17 April 2014). "Burger King’s Big King Hamburger Gets a Chicken Makeover". Bloomberg. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Leonard, Devin (24 July 2014). "Burger King Is Run by Children". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Burger King Hatches Chicken Big King". Huffington Post. Burger Business. 16 April 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (11 August 2014). "BK brings back Chicken Fries". USA Today. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  12. ^ Little, Katie (8 March 2015). "Fast food's new mantra: What's old is new". CNBC. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Wong, Vanessa (29 April 2014). "Is Burger King’s Big Mac Clone Stealing McDonald’s Lunch Money?". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Friedman, Nickey (16 May 2014). "Whoa! Did the Big King Save Burger King…Big Time?". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  15. ^ CKE Restaurants (23 April 2007). "Hardee's Brings Back Burger Chef Big Shef Hamburger for a Limited Time in Select Markets" (Press release). Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Big King, BK United States 
  17. ^ Big King, Canada 
  18. ^ Horovitz, Bruce (11 February 2014). "Burger King beefs up Big King, tops Big Mac". USA Today. Gannet. Retrieved 25 May 2014. 
  19. ^ BKC publication. "BK Italy Nutrition Guide" (PDF). Burger King Corporation. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  20. ^ BKC publication. "BK Spain Menu". Burger King Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-09. 
  21. ^ "Burger King Launches BB King Ad Campaign". QSR Magazine. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2007. When we developed these new sandwiches, we asked him [BB King] to star in the commercials to lend his musical talent and to acknowledge our customers' tastes not only in food but also in music. 
  22. ^ Byrnes, Nanette (14 May 2009). "Burger King's Big Misstep". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "Burger King Holdings, Inc. Common Stock". Morgan Stanley (PDF). Burger King Holdings. 13 November 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Shawn McKee (2007-11-07). "Eat Like a Man, Baby!". Retrieved 2007-11-08. [dead link]