I haven't complained about Big Food stupidity for awhile, but that doesn't mean that the mass market food ops haven't been coming up with more stupid stuff. But Burger King ticked me off the other day.
Large Is The New Small
I usually grab a Coke-and-ice on the long drive home from Kalamazoo. In a recent attempt to cutback on all that unnecessary high fructose corn syrup, yet virulently unwilling to use the aspartame sweeteners, I sometimes order a Small instead of a Medium Coke.
But I ordered a Medium Coke at BK the other day and asked if that was a Value Sized Medium. Huh? The vat-with-a-straw which appeared at the window turned out to be one of those wide-bodied, narrow bottomed mutant Large cups. Seems that BK has relabeled the sizes. So if you order a Medium, you now get a Large. To get a Medium, you have to order a Small. I made them give me a Small/Medium, instead of the Medium/Large.
The next time I ordered a Small, and had this long debate about whether it was an Old Small or a Value Sized Small. They couldn't understand ordering a New Small. Guess it isn't on their input keypad.
This all pisses me off two-fold: (1) Unless there is Yet Another option I don't know about, like calling something a Value Sized Kiddie Cup or something else atrocious, you can't get a Small anymore. (2) Years ago McDonalds pulled this re-sizing thing, which BK eventually adopted. So that means that the New Small which is the Old Medium is actually the Original Large!
Calorie Creep! I can't stand it.
Charging For More Is Less
The actual cost of putting soda pop in a cup with some ice is pennies. And that New Small is just chock full of ice. Chock full. So how does BK save money? Well, bumping up the size gives you More Value, so that has a lure effect to get you to choose BK over McDonalds -- up until McD changes their sizes. And eliminating a whole size of cups undoubtedly saves money, too.
I guess they couldn't stand the derision of just dropping the Small and only having Medium and larger sizes.
Dollar Menu Items For $1.10
During the summer, as food and gas prices jumped, I heard that some McDonalds were taking the Double Cheeseburger on the Dollar Menu and (1) charging $1.10 instead of a buck and/or (2) putting only one slice of cheese, instead of two. Now they have made this semi-official. I noticed when ordering a Small Coke at McDonalds the other day that there's a McDouble on the Value Menu for $1.10. A McDouble is a Double Cheeseburger with only one slice of cheese, apparently, though you can still order a Double Cheeseburger for something like $1.19.
The Double Cheeseburger on the Dollar Menu, when it was still just a buck, has been a big draw at McDonalds for a couple of years, and while they were loathe to change the price, they managed to work around it, I guess.
The Burger King on West Main in K-zoo has been touting BK Double Cheeseburgers for $1.29, but their Double has been advertised as 33% bigger than a McDonalds Double Cheeseburger.
Pick Your Fights Wisely
The other day I read a piece on the fattening of America, was it Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper, and there was something about the McDouble being one of the most insidious evil things around. I'm sure the author meant to talk about forcing all those impressionable teens to buy a double burger with cheese, but I find it humorous that as a destructive force, the author is picking on the McDouble. Which (a) costs more than it used to and (b) has less cheese and fat than the Double Cheeseburger. Wouldn't exactly call it a diet burger, but come on -- unless they're injecting Extra Fat into the patties, the McDouble is actually better for you than the Double Cheeseburger.
I'd almost call that a win in the face of Triple Whoppers with Bacon and Cheese...