The overwhelming majority of Canadian consumers (89 percent) eat burgers once a month or more often—and cravings and value are driving this high consumption.
By Technomic, Inc.
More consumers cite cravings than any other factor (42 per cent) as one of the top reasons they purchased a burger on their most recent occasion, while about a third of consumers (30 per cent) named “good value” as a factor. And despite fast-casual burger restaurants’ relatively low unit presence, 27 per cent of consumers say they eat fast-casual burgers at least monthly, signaling that the emerging fast-casual better-burger segment is fueling the momentum of the burger category.
Burger-chain value menus remain prevalent in the industry, but the traditional model is shifting to one that emphasizes higher quality, variety and craveability for a lower price. “The better-burger sector is an up-and-coming segment within the overall burger category,” says Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic Inc. “As the burger category evolves, consumer demands are changing. Consumers expect ‘something extra’ when dining out, and better burgers — with high-quality ingredients, the customer’s choice of toppings, alternative proteins or specialty preparations — can really help deliver that as part of a solid value equation.”
Top 4 trends driving burger sales:
- Of consumers who eat burgers at least twice a week, 61 per cent say they usually purchase burgers as part of a combo meal, and 37 per cent are purchasing value-menu burgers from fast-food restaurants more often than they were two years ago.
- Quality is key: 82 per cent of consumers say the quality or taste of the meat is one of their top considerations when purchasing a burger — an increase from 76 per cent two years ago.
- More than half of consumers (57 per cent) say that build-your-own burger concepts are appealing, and 55 per cent say that the ability to customize burger toppings and condiments is important.
- Data indicate that interest in special diets — driven by younger consumers —continues to prevail, as more than a fifth of all consumers who eat burgers say that the availability of gluten-free (24 per cent), vegan (22 per cent) and vegetarian (20 per cent) burger options is important.