CHICAGO—Americans love their hamburgers so much that nearly half of today’s consumers chow down on the American classic at least once a week compared to just 38% two years ago, according to a new study released by Technomic.
According to Technomic’s Burger Consumer Trend Report, quick-service value menus are helping drive the sector growth along with trend toward gourmet specialty burgers, which has driven growth in a way that is almost defiantly separate from pricing.
“The better burger restaurants in the fast casual segment have put the burger top-of-mind for consumers, and even the quick-service chains have begun to respond and focus portions of their menus specifically on quality perceptions," said Sara Monnette, Director of Consumer Research at Technomic.
Other key findings include the fact that 23% of consumers aged 18 to 34 want vegetarian burgers to be available on restaurant menus. The importance of health-halo attributes such as all natural, hormone-free, steroid-free and antibiotic-free has grown since 2009 with 50% of consumers wanting steroid-free burgers. And when it comes to Americans’ choice of cheese on their burgers, American reigns supreme at limited-service restaurants is American, with Cheddar being the most popular in the full-service segment.
The report examines burger consumption, purchasing behavior, attitudes and preferences of more than 1,500 consumers. The report also contains detailed concept and menu profiles for 20 innovative and emerging burger concepts and full demographic profiles of consumers who purchase burgers at more than 40 leading limited- and full-service chains offering burgers.