Technomic Report Says Americans Eating Burgers Less Often

The appetite for burgers among consumers in the United States is less robust than in previous years and restaurants are feeling the effects, according to Technomic Inc.’s recently released 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report. While 56% of those surveyed say that they eat burgers at least once a week, this is down from roughly two-thirds in 2013, and consumers say they are now preparing a higher percentage of their burgers at home.

hamburger1 300These shifts in consumption align with the increased availability of other foodservice options, especially at fast casual restaurants and retail stores, and the 15% increase in burger prices at leading chains since 2013 (compared to about 11% for all entrees).

“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 Chicago, Illinois-headquartered 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.”

Key takeaway points from the report include:

  • 35% of consumers say it’s very important that restaurants offer burgers with new and unique flavors.
  • 26% of those surveyed say breakfast burgers are highly appealing, up from 22% in 2015.
  • 48% percent of consumers say it’s very important that burgers are made with never-frozen beef.

Compiling findings from more than 1,500 consumers, as well as Technomic’s MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the comprehensive 2017 Burger Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand consumer consumption of and attitudes toward burgers and to identify key areas of opportunity.