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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Burger Trends market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?


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, chicken burgers), and vegetarian or plant-based burgers (eg black bean, soy burgers).

This Report focuses on both burger-specific restaurants (eg Wendy’s, Shake Shack, BurgerFi) and restaurants that sell burgers but are NOT burger-specific (eg Denny’s, Chili’s, Applebee’s). While burgers in retail are mentioned, retail burgers or packaged red meat is not the focus of this Report. This Report builds off of The State of the Burger – US, April 2016 and Burger and Chicken Concepts – US, August 2015.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Amanda Topper, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Burgers are menu and consumer favorites and competition emerges from all angles; both burger-specific operators and restaurants that menu them are using more than price promotions to capture more burger business. Consumers indicate a willingness to pay more for burgers made with premium ingredients as operators increasingly innovate with crowd-pleasing items. As the competition gets more crowded and complex, consumers look for quality through cues of freshness and unique ingredients in any occasion and from every segment. Amanda Topper
Associate Director - Foodservice


What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Fast casual lacks a burger identity
            • Figure 1: Segment visitation, January 2018
          • Burgers suffer from an “unhealthy” complex
            • Figure 2: Attitudes toward burgers, by generation, January 2018
          • The opportunities
            • Offer flexible choices
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, January 2018
            • Quality equates with fresh
              • Figure 4: Burger opportunities, fresh beef, by select demographics, January 2018
            • Disrupt occasions with diverse offerings, tiered pricing
              • Figure 5: Acceptable maximum burger price per segment, mean, by gender, January 2018
            • Top quality with quality
              • Figure 6: Attitudes toward burgers, “I would pay more for burgers made with premium ingredients,” Any agree, by select demographics, January 2018
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Retail is getting more foodservice savvy
                • The healthfulness of burgers is in doubt
                  • Positive economic factors encourage more burger spending
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Supermarkets and c-stores compete for quick meals
                      • Healthy food desires could hinder burger purchases
                        • Figure 7: Attitudes towards restaurant burgers, by parental status, January 2018
                    • Market Factors

                      • Beef consumption continues to decline
                        • Figure 8: Total US beef consumption
                        • Figure 9: Red meat deterrents, December 2016
                      • Younger demographics love burgers
                        • Figure 10: 2018 population breakdown
                      • Spending factors look favorable
                        • Figure 11: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007- January 2018
                        • Figure 12: BEA food sales at home and away from home, January 2010-December 2017
                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                      • Meat combinations offer value
                        • The non-beef burger category expands
                          • LTOs focus more on premium than price
                          • What’s working?

                            • A focus on meat blends and toppings
                              • Veggie burgers garner mainstream appeal
                                • Figure 13: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, by generation, January 2018
                                • Figure 14: New veggie burger meat substitutes released since July 2017
                              • Quick promotions grab attention
                              • Burger Innovation by Segment

                                  • Limited Service
                                    • Full Service
                                    • What’s struggling?

                                      • Fast casual burgers
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Extreme menu items continue creating buzz
                                          • Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger
                                            • Fresh beef initiatives address consumer interests
                                            • MMI Analysis

                                              • Overview
                                                  • Figure 15: Top 10 menued burgers, Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                • Toppings
                                                    • Figure 16: Top 10 burger toppings Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                  • Cheese
                                                      • Figure 17: Top 10 cheeses Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                    • Sauces
                                                        • Figure 18: Top 5 sauces, Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                      • Burger buns
                                                          • Figure 19: Top 10 burger buns/bread, Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                        • Ingredient claims
                                                          • Figure 20: Top 10 burger ingredient claims, Q4 2015-Q4 2017
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Fast food and casual dining segments get the most burger business
                                                          • Consumers want to see more burger quality
                                                            • There’s little fear in paying more for a better burger
                                                              • Non-beef burgers appeal to health conscious diners
                                                              • Segment Visitation

                                                                • Segment visits not always driven by price
                                                                  • Figure 21: Segment visitation, January 2018
                                                                  • Figure 22: Segment visitation, by select demographics, January 2018
                                                                • Men are the biggest burger fans
                                                                  • Figure 23: Segment visitation, by gender, January 2018
                                                              • Price Expectations

                                                                • Burger price thresholds correspond with each restaurant segment
                                                                  • Figure 24: Price expectations per segment, mean dollar amount, January 2018
                                                                • Men are less price sensitive
                                                                  • Figure 25: Price expectations per segment, mean dollar amount, by gender, January 2018
                                                                • Asians are willing to pay the most for burgers in most segments
                                                                  • Figure 26: Price expectations per segment, mean dollar amount, by race and hispanic origin, January 2018
                                                              • Burger Occasions

                                                                • Purchase occasions drive segment opportunities
                                                                    • Figure 27: Correspondence Analysis – Burger occasions, January 2018
                                                                    • Figure 28: burger purchase occasions for each segment, January 2018
                                                                  • Consumers have basic expectations for QSR burgers
                                                                    • Figure 29: Top burger occasions, fast food, by generation, January 2018
                                                                  • The burger occasion is more experiential in casual dining
                                                                    • Figure 30: Top burger occasions, casual dining, by gender, January 2018
                                                                • Burger Opportunities

                                                                  • Consumers look for more quality from burgers
                                                                    • Figure 31: Burger opportunities, January 2018
                                                                  • Women and iGens are more interested in local and organic ingredients
                                                                    • Figure 32: Top burger opportunities, by demographics, January 2018
                                                                  • Delivery matters most to younger consumers
                                                                    • Figure 33: burger opportunities, by generation, January 2018
                                                                    • Figure 34: Burger opportunities, delivery, by segment visitation, January 2018
                                                                  • Ordering technology attracts younger consumers
                                                                    • Figure 35: Burger opportunities, technology, by generations, January 2018
                                                                    • Figure 36: Burger opportunities, online/mobile ordering and on-site automated ordering, by segment visitation, January 2018
                                                                  • Fresh beef, local ingredients, and delivery appeals to the majority of consumers
                                                                    • Figure 37: TURF Analysis – Burger opportunities, January 2018
                                                                • Attitudes Toward Burgers

                                                                  • Burgers are an occasional treat
                                                                    • Figure 38: Attitudes towards burgers, January 2018
                                                                  • Quality matters most to parents
                                                                    • Figure 39: Attitudes towards burgers, quality, by parental status, January 2018
                                                                  • Many prefer classic burgers and rewards programs
                                                                    • Figure 40: Attitudes towards burgers, preferences, by generation and parental status, January 2018
                                                                  • Younger consumers are more health conscious
                                                                    • Figure 41: Attitudes towards burgers, health considerations, by generation, January 2018
                                                                • Attitudes Toward Vegetarian Burgers

                                                                  • Some consider veggie burgers a BFY option
                                                                      • Figure 42: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, January 2018
                                                                    • White consumers are least positive about veggie burgers
                                                                      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, by race and Hispanic origin, January 2018
                                                                    • iGens find veggie burgers the most desirable
                                                                      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, by generation, January 2018
                                                                    • Higher-income consumers are less enthusiastic about veggie burgers
                                                                      • Figure 45: Attitudes toward vegetarian burgers, by household income, January 2018
                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                    • Data sources
                                                                      • Consumer survey data
                                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                          • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis

                                                                            • Methodology
                                                                            • Appendix – TURF Analysis

                                                                              • Methodology
                                                                                • Figure 46: Table - TURF Analysis – Burger opportunities, January 2018

                                                                            About the report

                                                                            This report will give you a complete 360-degree view of your market. Not only is it rooted in robust proprietary and high-quality third-party data, but our industry experts put that data into context and you’ll quickly understand:

                                                                            • The Consumer

                                                                              What They Want. Why They Want It.

                                                                            • The Competitors

                                                                              Who’s Winning. How To Stay Ahead.

                                                                            • The Market

                                                                              Size, Segments, Shares And Forecasts: How It All Adds Up.

                                                                            • The Innovations

                                                                              New Ideas. New Products. New Potential.

                                                                            • The Opportunities

                                                                              Where The White Space Is. How To Make It Yours.

                                                                            • The Trends

                                                                              What’s Shaping Demand – Today And Tomorrow.

                                                                            Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.