The home of the Whopper is now also the new hangout of the turkey burger.
For the first time, Burger King is adding turkey to its menu. The new burger boasts fewer calories than the Whopper – it comes in at about 530 calories.
"It's a step in the right direction. They're making lower-calorie options for people that are unable to maybe prepare food at home or they're working, they're on the run," said sports nutritionist and educator Joel Jacoby.
The turkey burger is part of the Miami-based company's new spring menu and part of a growing trend at fast food chains to cater to health-conscious eaters. Soon McDonald’s plans to serve up a low-cal version of its Egg McMuffin, minus the yolk.
Jacoby says looking for lower calorie options is a good start, but nutritional value is more important.
"The general rule, you increase the protein, moderate the carbs and try to make sure you're having good fats," Jacoby said.
Some BK customers were not convinced the turkey burger, which is being offered for a limited time, will earn a permanent spot on the menu.
"Most of the time when you come to a fast food place you're not looking for a healthy meal," Brian Shuter said.
But a recent study by the Hudson Institute found restaurant profits may go up as the number of low-cal options increase. Researchers looked at 21 of the largest fast-food chains and their profits between 2006 and 2011. The research indicates restaurants that upped lower-calorie offerings saw an average 5.5 percent increase in same-store sales. Perhaps this is an indication that healthier is the way customers want to have it.
"People must be demanding it. They've heard the call so they're making an effort to meet the consumer's needs," Jacoby said.