Burger 'Premiumization'

Published in CSP Daily News

Higher-quality specialty burgers satisfy consumer cravings for more value

CHICAGO -- Consumers are relying on restaurants to provide value in hamburgers through "premiumization." According to a new report from foodservice industry consultant Technomic, consumers are willing to pay more for a specialty burger, especially a premium burger, than they are for a standard burger, regardless of restaurant segment.

"American consumers take their burgers seriously. It may be one area of foodservice where they are less willing to cut back, despite the current economic environment," said Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic. "They expect to pay more for a higher [image-nocss] quality, better burger, and are willing to do so because the value proposition is heightened."

Technomic's "Burger Consumer Trend Report" details hamburger trends, consumer purchase behavior and menu insights.
Select findings include: Consumers overwhelmingly (75%) ranked quality of meat as the first or second most important attribute in choosing a burger. One out of three consumers (35%) say they will pay more for a burger they consider to be premium, down from 45% in 2007. When asked what makes a burger premium, 72% of consumers said a high-quality type of meat (Angus, Wagyu) and 71% responded high-quality cut of meat (sirloin). Compared to 2007, preference for premium types and cuts of burger is growing. Today, 27% of restaurant customers prefer to purchase burgers made with Angus beef, compared to 20% in 2007. Additionally, 19% of consumers reported they would prefer to purchase sirloin burgers, up from 13% in 2007. Nearly half of consumers (47%) said they think restaurants should offer a variety of burger sizes, ranging from mini-burgers to half-pound burgers. The report is based on more than 2,250 online surveys with U.S. and Canadian consumers. Analysis of the latest menu trends was based on Technomic's MenuMonitor database and primary and secondary industry data. The report also includes analysis of current and upcoming burger trends, competitive insights into more than 40 chains, segmentation data and demographics for specific burger chains.

Chicago-based Technomic provides clients throughout North America with the facts, insights and consulting support. Its services include proprietary studies and ongoing research on all aspects of the food industry.