A new report from Technomic, a Chicago-based research and consulting firm that helps restaurants and food suppliers become more profitable, is claiming that despite the difficult economic environment, consumers are still craving premium hamburgers. According to its recently released “Burger Consumer Trend Report”, consumers are willing to pay more money for a specialty/premium burger than they are for a regular burger, no matter what restaurant segment they’re eating. Based on the results of more than 2,250 online surveys with U.S. and Canadian consumers, the report was developed to give operators and suppliers market and consumer insights into the ultra-competitive burger category.
“Consumers take their burgers seriously,” said Darren Tristano, executive vice-president at Technomic. “It may be one area of foodservice where they are less willing to cut back, despite the current economic environment. They expect to pay more for a higher quality, better burger and are willing to do so because the value proposition is heightened.”
Some 75 per cent of consumers polled in the report ranked quality of meat as the first or second most important attribute in choosing a burger, and 35 per cent claimed they’d pay more for a premium offering. When pressed on exactly what makes a premium burger, 72 per cent said a high-quality type of meat (Angus, Wagyu); 71 per cent chose a high-quality cut of meat, like sirloin. The research also shows that during the past two years, the preference for premium types and cuts of burgers has grown. Some 27 per cent of today’s customers prefer burgers made with Angus beef, compared to 20 per cent in 2007, and 19 per cent stated they prefer to purchase sirloin burgers, up from 13 per cent two years earlier.