Burgers Risk Losing Affordability Image

Consumers are aware of rising hamburger prices. ( AP )

Hamburger prices are rising at rates faster than the average foodservice entrée, and that puts the beef industry’s largest selling product at risk. That’s the conclusion of Technomic’s 2019 Burger Consumer Trend Report, which finds that prices are rising across a variety of burger types, including bacon cheeseburgers, veggie burgers and specialty burgers.

“Price increases are offering operators a form of relief as they struggle with rising labor and delivery costs, as well as limited growth through traffic,” says Charles Winship, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. “But continued price increases for burgers could ultimately cut into perceptions around their affordability and push consumers toward other options.”

The importance of burger prices is underscored by data from Technomic’s survey, which found 55% of consumers eat burgers either at home or at foodservice at least once a week. Fifty-nine percent of consumers say affordability is one of the most important factors when deciding where to order a burger, and 35% of consumers strongly agree that they’re willing to pay more for premium toppings.  

The Technomic survey of more than 1,600 consumers also found:

  • 46% of consumers who eat burgers strongly agree that they’ve noticed price increases for burgers at restaurants over the past year.
  • 42% of consumers who eat burgers strongly agree that they have a preferred restaurant they almost always go to for burgers.
  • 44% of millennials who eat burgers expect restaurants to offer at least one plant-based burger option on the menu.

Technomic’s comprehensive 2019 Burger Consumer Trend Report helps foodservice operators and suppliers better understand consumers’ consumption, attitudes and preferences toward burgers and to identify opportunity areas.

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