More than 32 Million Americans Could Benefit

April 22, 1998 (AP) -- Burger King Corporation today announced the launch of the new Left-Handed WHOPPER®, which will become available nationwide tomorrow. America's most preferred premium hamburger will feature the trademark build of lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, ketchup and 4-ounce flame broiled hamburger patty, but the newly designed sandwich has been re-engineered to fit more comfortably in the left hand, thereby reducing condiment "spills" for left-handed hamburger lovers. It is estimated that more than 1.4 million left-handed customers visit U.S. Burger King® restaurants each day.

The new left-handed sandwich will have all condiments rotated 180 degrees, thereby redistributing the weight of the sandwich so that the bulk of the condiments will skew to the left, thereby reducing the amount of lettuce and other toppings from spilling out the right side of the burger. The exact method of rotation is a closely held proprietary secret, and Burger King officials would not allowed it to be viewed by members of the press.

"We have always been proud of the fact that we offered 1,024 ways to order our flagship WHOPPER® sandwich. Now we are offering 1,025 ways.  It's the ultimate 'HAVE IT YOUR WAY'® for our left-handed customers," said Jim Watkins, senior vice president for marketing for Burger King Corporation.

It is estimated that approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population (or 32.5 million people) is left-handed, making this consumer group one of the largest--and one of the most   over-looked--minority segments in the country.

The new left handed WHOPPER® will be launched in a full-page ad in USA TODAY on Thursday. Initially, the Left-Handed WHOPPER® will only be available in the U.S., however, the company is considering plans to roll it out to other countries with large left-handed populations.

Industry analyst, Myron Katz, expressed doubt about Burger King's latest offering. "The new left-handed WHOPPER® will probably be a dismal failure like last year's left-handed straws."

Jim Watkins countered his claim by explaining that "the left-handed straw campaign failed because it was 'too successful.' It's a well know fact that lefties tend to hoard left-handed items. When word got out on the streets, we were literally swamped with lefties at all of our locations. It was impossible to re-tool the straw factories quickly enough to meet the demand for left-handed straws, so we cancelled the campaign and used the resources to fund this year's Mr. Potato Head® promotion."

Burger King Corporation and its franchisees operate more than 9500 restaurants in all 50 states and in 56 countries and international territories around the world. In fiscal year 1997, Burger King had systemwide sales of $9.8 billion. Burger King Corporation is a subsidiary of Diageo plc, one of the world's largest branded consumer products businesses.