Rugby World Cup fever is creeping into stores and supermarkets as a number of All Blacks-related products are rolled out.

Following Anchor's lead with the release of a limited edition black milk bottle, Whittaker's have repackaged a number of their products with All Blacks-themed motifs and colours.

Long-time partners Sanitarium have jumped on the bandwagon, redesigning Weet-Bix packaging to feature pictures of All Blacks and slogans like "One-Team" and "Kia-Kaha".

Adidas is also pushing its line of All Blacks sportswear, including the new range of cleated rugby boots worn by the team in a match against Australia in Auckland last month.

Advertisement

In the midst of black products hitting the shelves, fast food company Wendy's has announced a burger with a black bun - which it says is not associated with the All Blacks in any way.

With the rising number of official products supporting the All Blacks in the build-up to the World Cup, counterfeit merchandise could quickly follow behind.

Neil Sorensen, general manager of rugby at New Zealand Rugby, said that fans should always buy genuine All Blacks merchandise so they knew they were getting a quality product.

He urged fans to buy products bearing the official logo as they were licensed by New Zealand Rugby, and the proceeds were reinvested in the game at a community level.

"Where we can, we take steps to stop those trying to rip off the All Blacks' good name by selling unofficial products. We don't want our fans fooled into buying an inferior product which doesn't help support the game."

Does it matter if it's black or white?

With the rising number of official products supporting the All Blacks in the build-up to the World Cup, counterfeit merchandise could quickly follow behind.
With the rising number of official products supporting the All Blacks in the build-up to the World Cup, counterfeit merchandise could quickly follow behind.

Black's clearly in vogue as the All Blacks begin their quest for a back to back World Cup win.

Burger chain Wendy's, for instance, has launched a new black burger - a gourmet Kiwi Classic on black brioche bun.

We got to try the burger ahead of its debut tomorrow, and learned that the jet-black buns were a result of colouring from food-grade activated charcoal.

The buttery black brioche buns, we were told, had been developed in conjunction with local artisan bakers Pandoro.

"The brioche buns not only look incredible, they also have the same delicious taste profile we've come to expect from Pandoro," said Danielle Lendich, Wendy's chief executive.

I have to somewhat disagree with Lendich's view - I found the colour of the buns to be a put-off, making it look sort of unappetising.

We did a taste test, comparing the same burger on both black and white buns, and can report that other than the slightest hint of charcoal on the black burger, there was very little difference.

The burgers come with the usual Wendy's beef patties, cheese, free range egg, manuka smoked bacon and beetroot, along with tomato, lettuce, red onion and smothered with creamy mayo. Customers can also have their burger with one half of the bun black if they are not keen on an "all black" burger.

I'd have the black burger for a bit of novelty and fun, but not sure if it's something that I'd repeat.

Black is something that's better left to rugby.