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Vast Majority of Americans Enjoy Burgers From Time to Time

Friday, January 25, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The vast majority of Americans (85 percent) say they eat burgers once a month or more, according to a new survey, while only six percent say they never eat burgers.

These and numerous other findings are detailed in two new reports from foodservice consultancy Technomic — one that examines key consumer trends in burger consumption, and another that takes a closer look at the Top-25 chain operators in the burger segment.

Among the findings in the two burger reports:

• Significant differences were found in burger preferences and consumption behavior based on gender, age, region, ethnicity, and income. For example, Northeastern consumers are the lightest burger users, and Asian consumers are more likely to find themed burgers appealing than other ethnic groups.

• Heavy burger users, those who eat burgers once a week or more, make up the largest burger user category (44 percent); this group skews toward young consumers and those in the South and Midwest.

• While “traditional” burgers still hold solid appeal, there is strong preference toward customization and “build your own burger” options. Additionally, variation in burger size is appealing to consumers, especially miniature burgers, typically sold as appetizers.

• The dynamic burger category continues to be dominated by limited-service restaurants (LSRs), which represent 33 percent of U.S. LSR sales. Within the nearly-$59 billion burger category, the Top 25 limited-service burger chains held roughly 97 percent of the market—and the Top 3 (McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s) accounted for nearly 75 percent of LSR burger chain sales.

• Sales growth among the Top 25 LSR burger chains presented an extremely varied story, with some chains exhibiting astonishing growth, while others witnessed declines over their prior-year sales.

For more information on either report, go to http://www.foodpubs.com

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