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#GreenPoop: Drawback or Selling Point for Burger King’s Halloween Whopper?

Timothy P. Brotherton, Henry Wai Leong Ho
January 1, 2017
North America
Strategy & General Management
3 pages
#greenpoop, crisis management, burger king, halloween whopper, promotional, new product
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.76)
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This critical incident describes a crisis facing Burger King (BK) executives upon the 2015 release of BK’s Halloween Whopper at the end of September, 2015. The Halloween Whopper was a regular Whopper, but had a black bun with an A.1. flavoring and a special wrapper. BK Japan had had some success with a squid ink-based, all-black version of the Whopper, so with great fanfare, BK introduced the new product. However, within short order there were reports that one of the side effects of eating the specially designed black bun was green poop the next day. Reactions on Twitter exploded with an 89% negative reaction. People were even posting pictures of their green poop. A BK spokesperson had announced that The Halloween Whopper was safe to eat, but that had not stopped the complaints. What were BK executives supposed to do?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1.  Analyze customer reactions to a new product from a public relations standpoint.
  2. Evaluate alternatives to deal with a troubled new product introduction (sales promotion) from a crisis management perspective.
  3. Propose a plan of action for the decision-maker.