Burger King adds oatmeal to the royal breakfast

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PORTLAND, Ore. – Burger King is adding oatmeal to its breakfast menu as the struggling fast-food chain tries to reinvent itself.

The world’s second-largest burger chain says the move balances its menu to offer customers a healthier breakfast option. But it is also an attempt by the company to catch-up with competitors and expand its appeal beyond its traditional burger-and-fries base to boost sagging sales.

Burger King began offering Quaker Oatmeal, in original or fruit-topped maple, for $1.99, in all of its stores Monday.

It faces intense competition from McDonald’s and other quick-service restaurants that have expanded their menus to include better-for-you options. McDonald’s has introduced a number of healthier foods, including oatmeal and smoothies last year. Starbucks says its oatmeal has been a hit with customers. And Chik-fil-A and Denny’s have also added oatmeal to their menus.

Burger King, based in Miami, is reevaluating its business since it was acquired by investment firm 3G Capital last year.

The chain has been struggling for some time and reported in its most recent quarter that its profit fell 13% and its revenue fell 4%, with sales falling more sharply in North America than anywhere else.

“We are definitely looking to broaden our target and our audience,” said Leo Leon, vice president of global innovation for Burger King. “This is just one big step that are looking at in a variety of steps overall.”

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