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Burger King is now listing its Whopper ingredients on the wrapper — here's why

Burger King announced Thursday that its famous Whopper no longer has artificial ingredients, colors or preservatives.
The chain has temporarily updated the Whopper whopper to reveal what the burger is actually made of.
The chain has temporarily updated the Whopper whopper to reveal what the burger is actually made of.Burger King
/ Source: TODAY

Burger King long had a slogan “Have It Your Way" in regard to its burgers, but its new Whopper wrapper has more of "here's our way" approach, as it reveals exactly what's inside its burger.

Burger King announced Thursday that its famous Whopper "now features no colors, no flavors and no preservatives from artificial sources." To reflect the change, the chain has temporarily updated the wrapper on the Whopper to reveal what it's actually made of: 100% flame-grilled beef, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun.

According to a press release, in the U.S., 85% of the Burger King permanent food menu is now free of colors, flavors, and preservatives from artificial sources, and the brand is striving to achieve 100% by the beginning of next year.

"We put a lot of effort into the Whopper to make it taste great and the real Whopper free of colors, flavors and preservatives from artificial sources has the same iconic flame-grilled flavor that guests know and love," Chris Finazzo, President of Americas at Burger King, said in a statement. "This announcement further highlights our commitment to serve delicious, affordable meals our guests can feel good about."

To promote this news, the burger chain also released a commercial asking fans to describe the Whopper "by heart," with the underlying message being that it's easy to share what ingredients you love in a burger if there are no unpronounceable chemicals in it.

As the country grows more health-conscious, fast-food chains have had to respond in various ways — from being more transparent about their ingredients to changing how their most popular menu items are made. In early 2020, Burger King used a moldy Whopper as a promotional tool to announce its plans to remove artificial ingredients from the Whopper. More recently, McDonald’s issued a statement assuring their burgers were made from "real" ingredients after a TikTok video showed a decades-old burger that had yet to decompose.

Fast-food chains have long been trying to prove their food is healthier than their reputation. In 2015, Panera, which has always positioned itself as a healthier quick-service option, decided to ditch 150 artificial ingredients in its dishes. The same year, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut announced they were getting rid of artificial colors and flavors. In 2018, McDonald’s announced it was removing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from most of the burgers on its menu, tweaking its Big Mac Sauce recipe as a result. And in 2019, Chick-fil-A fulfilled their goal of serving poultry with no antibiotics, after setting the goal back in 2014.