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The State of the Burger - US - April 2016

"The burger category is ripe for continued innovation as new fast casual players enter the market and existing brands expand their burger menus. Diners today are open to trying new and exciting burgers made with innovative beef blends and unique toppings. While burgers are a favorite dish for many consumers, restaurants must compete with not only other burger restaurants but also chains offering quick and delicious non-burger entrees."
- Caleb Bryant, Foodservice Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • The burger market is getting crowded
  • People are eating less beef

This Report covers burgers at both LSRs (limited service restaurants) and FSRs (full service restaurants). Burgers can refer to traditional beef burgers, non-beef meat burgers (eg turkey, bison, salmon burgers), and vegetarian burgers (eg black bean, soy burgers). This Report focuses on both burger-specific restaurants (eg. Wendy’s, Shake Shack, BurgerFi, etc) and restaurants that sell burgers

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • The burger market is getting crowded
            • Figure 1: Burger consumption at segment in the past three months, by demographics, January 2016
          • People are eating less beef
            • Figure 2: Total US beef consumption
          • The opportunities
            • A majority of consumers are burger lovers
              • Figure 3: Burger self-segmentation: Burger attitude, January 2016
            • Give consumers choice
              • Figure 4: Burger innovation interest, January 2016
            • Grass-fed beef is an especially appealing burger trend
              • Figure 5: Burger statement agreement, grass-fed beef is higher quality than regular beef, by demographics, January 2016
            • Make your burger menu a story
              • Figure 6: Burger statement agreement, “I want to know the origin of beef in burgers,” by generation, January 2016
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Consumers are turning away from beef
                • Beef gets cheaper
                • Market Perspective

                  • Foodservice trend: Alternative proteins
                    • Trendy chicken and international dishes force burger innovation
                    • Market Factors

                      • Consumption of beef down year-over-year
                        • Figure 7: Total US beef consumption
                      • After a period of record highs, beef prices finally fall
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Non-beef burgers receive attention from chefs and customers
                          • New burger chains enter the market
                            • No lack of innovation in the burger category
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Veggie burgers get a makeover
                                • Where’s the beef?
                                    • Figure 8: New releases of non-beef frozen burgers
                                    • Figure 9: Non-beef frozen burgers released in 2015
                                  • Protein packed burgers
                                  • Restaurant Profiles

                                      • QSR
                                        • Fast casual
                                          • Midscale/casual dining
                                            • Fine dining
                                              • Figure 10: Fine dining burgers
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • Mean green grass-fed beef
                                              • Are butter burgers the next great LTO?
                                                • Meet the Juicy Lucy
                                                • MMI Analysis

                                                  • Overview
                                                    • Figure 11: Top 10 menued burgers at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                  • Burger toppings: Vegetables/fruit
                                                    • Figure 12: Burger toppings: Top 10 menued vegetables/fruits at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                  • Burger toppings: Cheeses
                                                    • Figure 13: Burger toppings: Top 10 menued vegetables/fruits at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                  • Burger toppings: Sauces
                                                    • Figure 14: Burger toppings: Top 10 menued vegetables/fruits at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                  • Burger buns
                                                    • Figure 15: Top 10 burger buns menued at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                  • Burger ingredient claims
                                                    • Figure 16: Top 10 menued burger ingredient claims at restaurants, Q4 2012-Q4 2015
                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                  • A majority of diners identify as burger lovers
                                                    • Consumers are open to new and innovative burgers
                                                      • Non-beef burgers are an area of exploration
                                                        • Burgers garner few concerns
                                                        • Restaurant Visitation

                                                          • QSRs remain the most visited location for burgers by far
                                                            • Figure 17: Burger consumption at segment in the past three months, by demographics, January 2016
                                                        • Burger Segmentation

                                                          • A majority of consumers identify as burger lovers
                                                            • Figure 18: Burger self-segmentation: Burger attitude, January 2016
                                                          • Men, Millennials, and Hispanics are “lovers.” Women, Boomers, and suburbanites are “likers”
                                                            • Figure 19: Burger self-segmentation: Burger attitude, by demographics, January 2016
                                                          • Provide a burger for every eater type
                                                            • Figure 20: Burger self-segmentation: Burger eater type, January 2016
                                                          • Gender differences by eater type
                                                            • Figure 21: Burger self-segmentation: Burger eater type, by gender and age, January 2016
                                                        • Burger Opportunities

                                                          • Consumers are open to a variety of burger innovations
                                                            • Figure 22: Burger innovation interest, January 2016
                                                          • Beef opportunities
                                                            • Young women desire premium options while young men are all about protein
                                                              • Figure 23: Burger innovation interest, by gender and age, January 2016
                                                              • Figure 24: Burger innovation interest, thicker beef patties, by gender and age, January 2016
                                                            • Reach rural diners with beef; urbanites want unique choices
                                                              • Figure 25: Burger innovation interest, thicker beef patties, by area, January 2016
                                                          • CHAID Analysis – Ultra-Premium Beef Blends

                                                            • Methodology
                                                              • Millennial fast casual and fine dining consumers are most interested in ultra-premium beef blends
                                                                • Figure 26: Burger innovation interest, thicker beef patties, by area, January 2016
                                                            • Non-beef Burgers

                                                              • Understanding the different tiers of non-beef burgers
                                                                  • Figure 27: Interest in non-beef burger types, January 2016
                                                                • Interest in non-beef burgers driven by young consumers and urbanites
                                                                  • Figure 28: Interest in non-beef burger types, by generation, January 2016
                                                                  • Figure 29: Interest in non-beef burger types, by age and income, January 2016
                                                                • Men want meaty non-beef burgers
                                                                  • Figure 30: Interest in non-beef burger types, January 2016
                                                                • Non-beef burgers: In their own words
                                                                • TURF Analysis – Non-beef Burgers

                                                                  • Methodology
                                                                    • Reach a majority of consumers by offering a selection of non-beef burgers
                                                                      • Figure 31: TURF analysis – Non-beef burger interest, January 2016
                                                                  • Burger Perceptions

                                                                    • Consumers have positive perceptions of burgers
                                                                      • Figure 32: Burger statement agreement, January 2016
                                                                    • Provide consumers with a premium burger
                                                                      • Figure 33: Burger statement agreement, “I would pay more for burger made with premium ingredients”, by demographics, January 2016
                                                                    • Strong consumer interest in grass-fed beef
                                                                      • Figure 34: Burger statement agreement, “Grass-fed beef is higher quality than regular beef”, by demographics, January 2016
                                                                      • Figure 35: Burger statement agreement, “Grass-fed beef is higher quality than regular beef”, by gender and age, January 2016
                                                                    • Grass-fed beef: In their own words
                                                                      • Millennials want food with a story
                                                                        • Figure 36: Burger statement agreement, “I want to know the origin of beef in burgers”, by generation, January 2016
                                                                    • Burgers and Beverages

                                                                      • Burgers are often paired with CSDs
                                                                        • Figure 37: Burger beverage pairings, January 2016
                                                                      • Men want beer with their burgers
                                                                        • Figure 38: Burger beverage pairings, by gender and age, January 2016
                                                                      • Beverage pairing by income
                                                                        • Figure 39: Burger beverage pairings, by income, January 2016
                                                                    • Qualitative Analysis

                                                                      • Burger ingredient importance
                                                                          • Figure 40: Qualitative responses: Most important burger ingredients
                                                                          • Figure 41: Qualitative responses: Least important burger ingredients
                                                                        • Burger delivery
                                                                        • Burger Eater Types

                                                                          • Reaching the different burger eater types
                                                                            • Figure 42: Burger innovation interest, by burger eater types, January 2016
                                                                            • Figure 43: Burger statement agreement, “I would pay more for burgers made with premium ingredients”, by burger eater types, January 2016
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                              • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Terms
                                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                                      • CHAID
                                                                                        • Figure 44: Burger attribute interest – CHAID – Table output, January 2016
                                                                                      • TURF
                                                                                        • Figure 45: TURF analysis – Non-beef burger interest, January 2016

                                                                                    Companies Covered

                                                                                    To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                    The State of the Burger - US - April 2016

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