Burger consumption on the rise

by Keith Nunes
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CHICAGO — The hamburger’s prominent placement on the value menus of many quick-service restaurant chains has increased consumer demand since 2009, according to the market research firm Technomic’s Burger Consumer Trend Report. Nearly half of the consumers surveyed by Technomic said they eat a burger at least once per week compared with 38% two years ago.

“The value menu is certainly a big part of this increase in burger consumption,” said Sara Monnette, director of consumer research at Technomic. “There are other factors at work, however, as the specialty burger craze 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.”

The report reviews the burger consumption, purchasing behaviors, attitudes and preferences of more than 1,500 consumers. Other insights included in the report are the facts consumers between the ages of 18-34 say it is important for vegetarian burgers to be available on restaurant menus, and consumers also are interested in ingredients that carry a “health halo,” such as being marketed as natural, hormone-free and antibiotic-free.

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