MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 21: Burger King logo in a Burger King restaurant on April 18, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Cristina Arias/Cover/Getty Images)
Why Burger King Trademarked Its Chicken Tenders
By Chase Shustack
Fast-food companies have a strong focus on selling fried chicken, and Burger King is no stranger to the concept. To discuss its attempts to make deep-fried chicken history, we must first understand why the company went to such great lengths to protect its "secret weapon.”
In 1985, two years after McDonald’s released the successful McNugget, Burger King rolled out its chicken tenders. The commercial told customers that, unlike a certain "nugget," the tenders were made from 100% chicken breast filet, so Burger King thought it could succeed by presenting a more “natural” option than the McNugget.
Per a 1988 report, Burger King trademarked the term “chicken tenders” to keep other chains from copying their strategy. The trademark raised trouble for Burger King in 1994 when Pilgrim's Pride introduced what it called "chicken breast tenders," leading Burger King to take the company to court.