Market insight: The burger barometer

Market insight: The burger barometer

Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana brand has unveiled a new insights-based ‘Burger Barometer’ revealing what UK consumers really want from an out of home burger offering. The research-based findings identify the nation’s favourite beef, chicken and veggie burgers, fillings, flavours, sides and buns, complete with expert advice from ‘Burger Lad’ Simon Dukes on tapping into these lucrative trends.

This latest research from Americana, consisting of a poll of 1,500 UK consumers, provides further evidence that operators who go the extra mile by offering on-trend, gourmet burger options can positively influence their bottom line. Consumers are willing to pay, on average, 10% more for their favourite gourmet burger.

This news is the latest insights from the experts at Americana who revealed in June that consumers are willing to pay, on average, £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun. It calls on operators to premiumise the quality of their burger menus, from the fillings to the bun, in-line with consumer expectations to increase sales.

Top burgers
Beef remains the number one burger patty of choice for 68% of consumers. The favourite filling to go with beef was a quality cheddar cheese, making a classic cheeseburger most popular with 39% of the vote. This was closely followed by BBQ brisket, cheddar cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce as their favourite filling, voted for by 21%, showing that the American ‘low and slow’ flavour influence is still a key consumer trend.

Chicken burgers were the second favourite. A fried chicken patty with buffalo sauce, lettuce and mayo is the filling of choice for 23% of respondents, with the second most popular choice being fried buttermilk chicken with BBQ sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and onion rings.

Despite the increase in consumers choosing to go meat-free either full or part time, only 8% of consumers say that a veggie or vegan patty is their preferred choice. The top voted meat-free burger was a veggie bean burger with cheddar cheese (32%), followed by halloumi cheese with grilled aubergine, courgette and peppers (24%). Meanwhile, a falafel burger, avocado and sweet chilli sauce is the number one vegan choice (13%).

Top fillings
When consumers were asked what their favourite additional burger filling was, 39% said cheese, with 29% preferring cheddar cheese. Close second was bacon (21%), another classic burger addition. Although consumers may be more adventurous with their overall burger choice, when it comes to fillings to list on the extras menu, stick to the traditional favourites to appeal to the widest consumer

Dukes of Burger Lad said: “People like the familiar, but where they’re looking for adventure is in the idea of going premium. The research shows that classic burger fillings, such as beef, bacon and cheese, are the preferred options for consumers, but that they want a premium bun.

“Operators shouldn’t compromise on the bun. As the first thing consumers see when they are presented with the dish, it can make or break a burger. A premium burger menu should give the bun as much thought as all other ingredients or toppings.”