What 12 Fast Food Advertisements Look Like Compared to the Real Thing

iStock.com/skhoward
iStock.com/skhoward

That perfectly seared, sizzling burger you just saw in a fast food commercial probably isn’t the same one you’ll end up eating. There's a good chance the bun will be squished, with the condiments spilling out and the meat looking significantly less beefy than it appeared on TV. By now, it’s common knowledge that food photographers use fake “ingredients” (like glue and motor oil) to achieve the perfect shot, but that doesn’t stop us from falling prey to food advertisements every now and then.

According to surveys conducted by custom signage company Signs.com, the worst offenders of unrealistic advertisements are Chik-fil-A, Burger King, and McDonald’s. Respondents said an advertisement of Chik-fil-A’s original chicken sandwich looked 108 percent more appetizing than the real deal, and they’d be willing to pay $2.76 more for the advertised version.

A Chik-fil-A sandwich
Signs.com

Signs.com polled more than 500 people and asked them to compare food advertisement photos with images of the real deal, which were purchased and photographed by their team members. The actual food photos were designed to resemble the advertised ones as closely as possible, but the site acknowledged that the images of real food items may vary from location to location.

Survey participants preferred photos of the actual food over the advertised one in only two cases—when real pictures of Papa John’s and Domino’s pizzas were shown. All the other foods were considered to look less desirable in real life than they did in the advertisements.

Keep scrolling to see more food comparisons, and check out Signs.com for a detailed breakdown of the survey results.

A Whopper from Burger King
Signs.com

A Quiznos sub
Signs.com

A Carl's Junior burger
Signs.com

A bucket of KFC chicken
Signs.com

A McDonald's Big Mac
Signs.com

A Taco Bell taco
Signs.com

A Wendy's burger
Signs.com

Arby's gyros
Signs.com

A Five Guys burger
Signs.com

A Jimmy John's Italian sub
Signs.com

A Moe's burrito
Signs.com

McDonald’s Is Testing Out Vegan McNuggets in Norway

McDonald's has never been an especially welcoming place for vegans (until 1990, even the fries contained meat). But now, the chain's Norwegian locations are working to change that. As Today reports, McDonald's restaurants in Norway have launched a vegan nugget alternative to the classic chicken McNugget.

The new vegan McNuggets are prepared to look like the menu item customers are familiar with. They're coated with a layer of breadcrumbs and fried until they're golden-brown and crispy. Instead of chicken meat, the nugget is filled with plant-based ingredients, including mashed potatoes, chickpeas, onions, corn, and carrots.

The vegan McNuggets are only available to customers in Norway for now, but if they're popular, they may spread to McDonald's in other parts of the world. Norway's McDonald's locations also include a Vegetarian McFeast burger on its menu.

McDonald's is famous for tailoring its menus to international markets, and vegetarian options are much easier to find in restaurants some parts of the world compared to others. In India, where one fifth of the population is vegetarian, customers can order the McAloo Tikki Burger, made from potatoes and peas, or a McVeggie sandwich.

[h/t Today]

All-Marshmallow Boxes of Lucky Charms Are Back, But Not Everyone Will Be Able to Get One

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Hot on the heels of a Virginia brewery's cereal-inspired marshmallow beer, another way for grown adults to feel like kids again has emerged. Marshmallow-only Lucky Charms are back—this time with unicorn and rainbow shapes. Unfortunately, only 15,000 boxes of the sweet stuff are up for grabs.

If you were already planning on treating yourself by picking up some regular Lucky Charms from your local supermarket, be on the lookout for promotional boxes that say “You could win a box of only marshmallows” on the front. The inside panels of those boxes contain codes that can be entered at MarshmallowOnly.com for your chance to win one of the rare pure-marshmallow boxes. The promotion will run through the summer, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter up to 30 codes. Here's a list of participating retailers carrying the coded boxes [PDF].

This isn’t the first time that General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, has held this sweepstakes. In 2015, the company gave away 10 boxes of marshmallow-only cereal (or, as it calls the sugary shapes, “marbits”). Based on the popularity of that promotion, it handed out 10,000 boxes in 2017.

"It's no secret that Lucky Charms fans love the marshmallows," Scott Baldwin, director of marketing for cereal at General Mills, said in a statement. "Consumers have flooded our inboxes and swept our social feeds begging for Lucky Charms Marshmallow Only to return. You asked, and we listened!"

If you’re not feeling especially lucky, you can buy similar versions of the marshmallows on Amazon. Retailers like Medley Hills Farm and Hoosier Hill Farm (which are apparently unrelated companies) sell one-pound bags of cereal marshmallows for $11 and $10, respectively. You can also order an 8-pound bag, or, if you’re feeling especially peckish, a 40-pound case of dehydrated marshmallows for $228. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, it's “just the right amount."

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