Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana Brand Burger Research
New Americana “Burger Barometer” unveils what UK consumers really want from their burger menu
Lantmännen Unibake’s Americana brand has unveiled a NEW insights-based “Burger Barometer” revealing what UK consumers really want from an out of home burger offering.
The research-based findings identify the nation’s favourite beef, chicken and veggie burger, fillings, flavours, sides and buns complete with expert advice from ‘Burger Lad’, Simon Dukes, on tapping in to these lucrative gourmet burger trends.
This latest research from Americana, consisting of a poll of 1,500 UK consumers, provides further evidence that operators who go the extra mile by offering on-trend, gourmet burger options can positively influence their bottom line. Consumers are willing to pay, on average, 10% more for their favourite gourmet burger.
This news is the latest insights from the burger experts at Americana who revealed in June that consumers are willing to pay, on average, £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun. Calling on operators to premiumise the quality of their burger menus, from the fillings to the bun, in-line with consumer expectation to increase burger sales.
The Nation’s Favourite Burger Menu Options
Beef remains the number one burger patty of choice for 68% of consumers.
The favourite filling to go with beef was a classic but quality cheddar cheeseburger with 39% of the vote.
This was closely followed by BBQ brisket, cheddar cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce as their favourite filling, voted for by one in five (21%) showing that the American ‘low and slow’ flavour influence is still a key consumer trend.
Chicken burgers were the second favourite. A fried chicken patty with buffalo sauce, lettuce and mayo is the filling of choice for 23% of respondents, with the second most popular choice being fried buttermilk chicken with BBQ sauce, Monterey Jack cheese and onion rings.
Despite the increase in consumers choosing to go meat-free either full or part time, only eight per cent of consumers say that a veggie or vegan patty is their preferred choice.
The top voted meat-free burger was a veggie bean burger with cheddar cheese (32%), followed by halloumi cheese with grilled aubergine, courgette and peppers (24%). Meanwhile, a falafel burger, avocado and sweet chilli sauce is the number one vegan choice (13%).
Top Burger Buns
When it comes to the bun, brioche took the top spot (30%), with seeded brioche (18%) and grill marked buns (15%) taking second and third place respectively.
This shows a strong indication of consumer demand for premium bun options and supports the Americana burger insights from June of consumer’s willingness to pay up to £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun.
The brioche bun macro-trend is still running strong but at the same time there is an opportunity on menus for other emerging premium buns, like the grill marked bun, for those looking for a new on-trend gourmet bun experience and are bored with brioche.
Top Burger Fillings
When consumers were asked what their favourite additional burger filling was over 1/3 consumers (39%) voted cheese, with 29% preferring cheddar cheese.
Close second was bacon (21%), another classic burger addition.
Although consumers may be more adventurous with their overall burger choice when it comes to fillings to list on your extras menu stick to the traditional favourites to appeal to the widest consumer audience.
Top Burger Sides
Chips are the nation’s favourite side to go with a burger, getting over half (52%) of the vote. The new trend for loaded fries came in second (12%) ahead of the traditional onion rings (10%). This indicates an opportunity to get consumers to trade up their side from standard chips to premium loaded fries and increase sales.
Burger menus impact revenue streams
The Burger Barometer provides further evidence that operators who trade up to gourmet will positively influence their bottom line, with 63% of respondents saying they are willing to pay more for new and improved burger options and up to a total of £4.18 to upgrade to their favourite bun, filling and side.
What’s more, consumers are willing to pay more for their favourite bun than an extra filling (93p). Over three quarters (77%) are willing to pay more to upgrade their bun with the average extra amount consumers are willing to pay coming in at £1.25.
Future-proofing your burger menus
1. Offer choice and personalisation: 26% of consumers expect to see five or more burger options on a menu, demonstrating a clear expectation for choice. 36% want more variety of burger buns & fillings and 34% want more opportunity to personalise their burger buns & fillings.
2. Stock high quality products: ingredient quality is the most important factor for consumers when choosing a burger out of home with 36% of consumers wanting to see improved quality to their burgers. Operators should not only stock high-quality products but also ensure they are communicating this to their customers for this to translate to sales.
3. Innovate: 35% of consumers want to see new flavours on menus, which means outlets should invest in menu development and ensure they are staying on top of current trends.
4. Trade up to premium: 21% of consumers want to see better quality burger buns on menus. A higher quality bun is one of the top three reasons for UK consumers to choose a gourmet burger when eating out of home, trading up from a standard bun to a gourmet bun is a simple yet cost-effective way to increase margins.
Simon Dukes of ‘Burger Lad’ comments: “People like the familiar, but where they’re looking for adventure is in the idea of going premium. The research shows that classic burger fillings such as beef, bacon and cheese are the preferred options for consumers but that they want a premium bun. Operators shouldn’t compromise on the bun. As the first thing consumers see when they are presented with the dish, it can make or break a burger. A premium burger menu gives the bun as much thought as all other ingredients or toppings.”
Samantha Winsor, Assistant Brand Manager, Americana, adds: “This research gives us an even deeper understanding of exactly what it is that consumers want from a burger when eating out of home. This ensures we offer our customer’s bun and burger recommendations based on factual consumer-led insights, supporting them to drive sales and thrive in a highly competitive and ever-changing, market.”
“Trading up from a standard fast food bun to our Americana Brioche Bun or Americana Grill Marked Burger Bun costs very little, but it can have a huge impact on how your burger offer is received. It is also a profitable opportunity for outlets as consumers on average are willing to pay up to £1.25 more for their burger to come in a gourmet bun.”
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To find out more about Lantmännen Unibake UK’s complete bakery portfolio, visit www.lantmannen-unibake.co.uk, call 01276 850500 or tweet @LantmannenUK.
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