Burger King launches new double quarter-pound burger today

In an effort to go after rival McDonald's, Burger King has unveiled a new burger made of a half-pound of beef, which will go on sale nationally today.

The Double Quarter Pound King Sandwich consists of two patties that each have a pre-cook weight of four ounces. It's topped with American cheese, sliced onions, pickles and ketchup on a toasted, sesame seed bun.

The recommended price is $5.39.

McDonald's already has a burger of the same heft and similar name, the Double Quarter Pounder. 

"We’d like to offer our deepest condolences to all the flat-top fried double quarter pound burgers out there. We’re flame grilling the competition," Burger King said in a statement. 

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This isn't the first time Burger King has trolled McDonald's. An ad at Halloween time featured a scary version of Ronald McDonald made up to resemble Pennywise from the horror movie "It," based on the Stephen King book. The tagline was "Come as a clown, eat like a king."

Unlike the Double Whopper, the new Double Quarter Pound King has no lettuce, tomato or mayo, but it does have two slices of cheese, according to the company. The new burger also has 60% more beef than the old Big King burger.

The chain declined to comment on why it's introducing the Double Quarter Pound King now.

Burger King's sales grew 3.6%, owner Restaurant Brands International said in its third-quarter earnings report. McDonald's has been making strides in 2017 with the introduction of the upscale Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich line, the hand-crafted McCafe beverages and the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu.

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Both chains — as well as Wendy's and smaller regional fast-food burger chains — are facing increasing competition from the so-called better-burger players, which serve more expensive and, some say, tastier versions of the American classic, such as Five Guys, Smashburger, Shake Shack and Fatburger.

Burger King was founded in 1954 and today is the world's second-largest fast-food burger chain with more than 15,000 locations around the globe, according to the company.

Ontario-based Restaurant Brands International's portfolio also includes Tim Hortons and Popeyes.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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