Restaurants look to get a boost from premium burgers

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 15th September 2009

Consumers are relying on restaurants to provide value in hamburgers through premiumisation, with a new report highlighting the burger attributes most important to consumers.

According US-based foodservice industry consultant Technomic, consumers are more than willing to pay more for a specialty burger, especially a premium burger, regardless of restaurant segment.

“(Burgers) may be one area of foodservice where (consumers) are less willing to cut back, despite the current economic environment,” Darren Tristano, EVP at Technomic, suggested. “They expect to pay more for a higher quality, better burger, and are willing to do so because the value proposition is heightened.”

Key findings in the report included:

* Consumers overwhelmingly (75 per cent) ranked quality of meat as the first or second most important attribute in choosing a burger.

* One out of three consumers (35 per cent) say they will pay more for a burger they consider to be premium, down from 45 per cent in 2007.

* When asked what makes a burger premium, 72 per cent of consumers said a high-quality type of meat (Angus, Wagyu) and 71 per cent responded high-quality cut of meat (sirloin).

* Compared to 2007, preference for premium types and cuts of burger is growing. Today, 27 per cent of restaurant customers prefer to purchase burgers made with Angus beef, compared to 20 per cent in 2007. Additionally, 19 per cent of consumers reported they would prefer to purchase sirloin burgers, up from 13 per cent in 2007.

* Nearly half of consumers (47 per cent) said they think restaurants should offer a variety of burger sizes, ranging from mini-burgers to half-pound burgers