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Stackyard News Aug 07

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Aberdeen Angus Burger King Sales Take Off

Aberdeen-Angus producers are reaping the benefits of the ambitious expansion plans of the eponymous High Street restaurant chain, Burger King, in their 670 restaurants in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

angus burger

The premium Angus Burger, launched last year and made from 100% Aberdeen-Angus beef, is proving a hit with burger lovers and is set to capture 20% of sales in Burger King outlets.

The Angus Burger sells for a premium of 50p over Burger King’s popular Whopper Burger.

This week, Burger King rolled out plans to build on the success of the Angus Burger during a two-day visit to Scotland by senior company executives to see how Aberdeen-Angus beef is produced on the farm.

Visits were made to Robert McNeil’s prize-winning Aberdeen-Angus herd at Kincardine Castle, Auchterarder, and the headquarters office of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society at Perth where discussions on the sourcing of beef for the planned expansion were held with chief executive, Ron McHattie.

“The Angus Burger is a supply chain partnership with Aberdeen-Angus breeders and our executive team came away even more confident and inspired after seeing for themselves the dedication and attention to detail which goes into producing quality Aberdeen-Angus beef,” said Burger King’s divisional vice-president for North-west Europe, Giorgio Minardi.

“Burger King has always been recognised as a quality brand and our partnership with the Aberdeen-Angus breed, which is renowned throughout the world for quality beef, has further reinforced and enhanced Burger King’s reputation for quality.”

Plans are in hand to boost sales through organic expansion in existing outlets, a series of product launches based on the Angus Burger and expansion into other European countries. Products such as the Three-pepper Angus Burger and the Smokey Blue Angus Burger, with smoky bacon and blue cheese, are already a big hit with consumers.

The launch of the Angus Burger has been backed by a £5 million television advertising and marketing campaign which has opened up the Aberdeen-Angus brand to a whole new and younger generation within Burger King’s target customer range of 20-25 year olds.

The Angus Burger has come out with flying colours in exit surveys conducted with customers leaving Burger King restaurants.

“The perception of quality and taste has exceeded our expectations,” said Mr Minardi. “The Angus Burger is becoming part of the culture with even celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, singing its praises.”

Mr Minardi said the development of the successful partnership with the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society was a priority to ensure the availability of product to meet projected demand. Burger King would be working closely with the Society, he said, to ensure the supply chain was geared up well in advance to meet the company’s raw material requirements.

Selected cuts of Certified Aberdeen-Angus beef  for the Angus Burger are sourced from meat processors in both the UK and Ireland and Mr Minardi is looking for producers to expand production to meet expected future demand.

“The continued expansion of the Angus Burger presents an exciting opportunity for producers to expand their market but they must never compromise on quality,” he said. “Both Burger King and the Aberdeen-Angus breed have built their reputations on quality and the Angus Burger represents a ‘win,win’ situation for both parties.”

The Angus Burger is the only burger from a fast food restaurant chain produced from beef certified as Aberdeen-Angus under the Society’s certification scheme.

“For the Aberdeen-Angus brand to be exposed to such a large and new consumer base has to be good news for the breed,” said Ron McHattie, the Society’s chief executive.

“We look forward to developing a long-term partnership with Burger King who are determined to raise standards in the fast food industry.”

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Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society