Business

Burger King’s latest may look familiar

NEW YORK — What has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame bun? Burger King’s latest sandwich.

The Miami-based chain says it’s bringing back its ‘‘Big King’’ sandwich, which looks a lot like the popular Big Mac made by its bigger rival McDonald’s. Burger King says it’s an addition to the permanent menu rolling out this week.

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Burger King says it previously offered the Big King as a limited-time offer. But back then, it didn’t have the middle bun — a Big Mac hallmark — like it does now.

It’s just the latest move by Burger King that seems to pay more than a little homage to the Golden Arches. Last spring, Burger King also unveiled a revamped menu that looked a lot like the food McDonald’s had added such as fruit shakes, chicken snack wraps, and specialty coffees.

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Since then, Burger King has also rolled out a rib sandwich to compete with the popular McRib, as well as chicken nuggets. As the New York Post wrote at the time, ‘‘They look like McNuggets. They’re as nutritious as McNuggets. Just don’t call them McNuggets.’’

What does McDonald’s think of all this? ‘‘We’re focused on our business and our customers,’’ spokeswoman Lisa McComb said in an e-mail.

Scott Hume, editor of BurgerBusiness.com, notes that imitation is common in the fast-food industry.

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‘‘McDonald’s clones make sense if they’re popular in the marketplace,’’ Hume said.

In the latest quarter, Burger King said sales slipped 0.3 percent at North American locations open at least a year. McDonald’s said the figure edged up 0.7 percent.

Burger King Worldwide Inc. has had numerous owners over the years. 3G Capital, an investment firm run by Brazilian billionaires, bought the chain and took it private in 2010. It took it public again last year in a deal that allowed it to earn back what it paid while still maintaining a majority stake.

As for the new Big King, Burger King’s website lists it at 510 calories. The Big Mac is listed at 550 calories.

Burger King also recently introduced lower-calorie fries that it dubbed as ‘‘Satisfries.’’ Notably, Burger King has been touting the fries as having 30 percent fewer calories than regular fries. But the comparison is to McDonald’s fries, not its own.

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