Premium burger, food service
More costly toppings are pushing consumers to explore alternatives, Technomic says.

CHICAGO — As restaurant goers demand more higher quality burgers, costs have increased, which has led to an ease in consumption, according to Technomic Inc.’s 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report.

While fifty-six per cent of consumers said they eat burgers at least once a week, that number has dropped from roughly 75% of consumers in 2013. Additionally, consumers said they are now preparing a higher percentage of burgers at home. This trend may point to the increased availability of other food service options, the report said, as well as a 15% increase in burger prices at leading chains since 2013.

Anne Mills, Technomic
Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic

“Burgers are becoming a more premium option as pricier toppings like brisket, fried eggs and avocado trend up on menus,” said Anne Mills, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “While these ingredients are satisfying demands for new and unique burgers, increasing prices may make burgers a less practical option and push consumers to more affordable alternatives, especially as retail prices for burgers drop.”

So how can food service operators keep consumers coming back for their burgers?

  • Innovation: Thirty-five per cent of consumers said it is very important that restaurants offer burgers with new and unique flavors.
  • Breakfast burgers: Twenty-six per cent of consumers said breakfast burgers are highly appealing, up from 22% in 2015.
  • Fresh beef: Forty-eight per cent of consumers said it is very important that burgers are made with never-frozen beef.
Technomic’s 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report reflects findings from more than 1,500 consumers as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library.