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Consumer Trends: Cravings Drive Canadian Burger Purchases

According to new research, the overwhelming majority of Canadian consumers eat burgers once a month or more often — and cravings and value are driving this high consumption. More consumers cite cravings than any other factor as one of the top reasons they purchased a burger on their most recent occasion.

CHICAGO (PRNewswire) — According to new research from Technomic, 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. More consumers cite cravings than any other factor (42 percent) as one of the top reasons they purchased a burger on their most recent occasion, while about a third of consumers (30 percent) named "good value" as a factor. And despite fast-casual burger restaurants' relatively low unit presence, 27 percent 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."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest consumer preferences and attitudes regarding burgers, Technomic has released a comprehensive update of its Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report. Key findings include:

  • Of consumers who eat burgers at least twice a week, 61 percent say they usually purchase burgers as part of a combo meal, and 37 percent are purchasing value-menu burgers from fast-food restaurants more often than they were two years ago.
  • Quality is key:  82 percent of consumers say the quality or taste of the meat is one of their top considerations when purchasing a burger—an increase from 76 percent two years ago.
  • More than half of consumers (57 percent) say that build-your-own burger concepts are appealing, and 55 percent say that the ability to customize burger toppings and condiments is important.
  • Data indicates 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 percent), vegan (22 percent) and vegetarian (20 percent) burger options are important.
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