The phase-out of a long-time product from a popular local fast-food chain triggered reactions of nostalgia and disappointment from its fans online.
Jollibee announced on social media that its Champ burger, which had been a staple in its menu for years, will no longer be available in all its branches soon.
“We wish to inform you that soon, we will be phasing out our Champ burger in all Jollibee branches. We are working on big and exciting things this year for our burgers line to delight and bring greater joy to our customers,” read the statement which was posted on January 3.
Jollibee assures its customers that they can still enjoy other burger favorites such as the popular Yumburger and its variants.
“Our customers can enjoy the same langhap-sarap beefy goodness by trying our double patty Yumburgers—regular, cheesy and cheesy deluxe variants. These are extra filling, juicy, delicious and great value for money,” it read.
“Our product offerings are being reviewed regularly to meet customer demands so there’s always a chance that old Jollibee classics—including the Champ—may return in the future,” it added.
No specific reason was cited for the Champ’s phase-out.
Retirement of the people’s Champ
Fans of the classic burger, however, couldn’t help but recall memories with the well-loved food product, especially with their loved ones.
Compared to other Jollibee burgers, the Champ is larger in size with more lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other ingredients.
Back then, it was offered as the only burger option with double beef patties. It was eventually reduced to just one large patty.
One Facebook user recalled in a lengthy comment how the Champ burger was the food he shared with his father back when he was still alive.
He hoped the restaurant would be mindful of the memories Filipinos made through their food.
“Jollibee, sana malaman ninyo na may mga tao din na ‘di malilimutan ang alaala ng mga pagkain ninyo. Salamat!” the user said.
Others, meanwhile, questioned Jollibee’s motive for this decision when they could just improve the quality of its other products such as the Jolly Spaghetti and chicken.
The Champ’s price point might now be too high compared to its cheaper alternatives, one Reddit user noted, and prompted the chain’s decisionmakers to discontinue it.
“The Champ is now too expensive for their base clientele. The regular products are moving towards the upper limit of the narrow band of affordability. So when they have to push up the price of their premium products as well, less people are able to afford them outside the metro,” the user said.
Part of Jollibee’s history
The Champ burger, along with mascots Champ and Hetty, was first introduced to the public in 1984, which was the same year when Jollibee became one of the top 500 corporations in the industry.
Jollibee’s first branch, which was a former ice cream parlor, opened in Cubao in Quezon City in 1975.
The University of the Philippines-Diliman library also shared screenshots of old articles about it on its account on Twitter. It included a photo of its previous double-patty appearance.
From the #Serials section: what a Champ burger looked like in 1994! Launched in 1984, it was part of the growth of #Jollibee as a multinational food chain (src: Manila Inc 3(6), pp. 40-43) and offered bigger servings than the other brand (src: Mr. & Ms. 15(64), p. B). pic.twitter.com/39sPKaZjHG
— UPD Library (@UPDLibrary) January 3, 2020
Aside from this sandwich, Jollibee’s Big Burger Steak Meal will also be removed from its meal options starting January 1.