Burgers Abound


Burgers Abound

Byron burger

Times have changed for the British burger as consumer preference for premium burger concepts continues to grow. In a market once dominated by the fast food giants, UK consumers can now enjoy more choice than ever before with increasingly innovative ideas hitting menus in restaurants up and down the country.

According to Technomic's annual UK Chain Restaurant Report, 2014 saw a significant increase in burger concepts with a 37.4% increase in burger sales at full-service restaurants and a 5.8% rise at fast-casual establishments. An article published earlier this year by The Guardian reported that the UK burger market is currently estimated at over £3bn and is expected to grow to nearly £3.3bn by 2019. Additionally, a recent article published by seekingalpha.com reported the estimated global market size at over $135bn (approx £87bn) and that 'burger demand' shows no sign of slowing.

The Guardian article further stated that higher consumer expectations for better food in informal settings has helped the 'better burger' concept gain momentum - many stand out due to their high quality ingredients and creative menus. It is this versatility that is thought to be driving the market with options ranging from simple premium burgers to over-the-top-indulgence. An example of the indulgent end of the market features on the current menu of UK restaurant chain Red's True Barbecue. The Donut Burger consists of not only the usual gourmet burger ingredients such as 100% steak, melted double cheese, smoked bacon and crispy onions - it also incorporates two sweet glazed donuts into the recipe, replacing the burger bun.

The success of UK 'better burger' businesses such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Byron Burgers might be set to experience competition with the influx of big American brands setting up shop on our shores, keen to tap into the lucrative UK market. In the past year, Smashburger, Fatburger and BurgerFi have announced UK locations, joining the American ranks of Shake Shack and Five Guys. However, a report by food-thought.com predicts that despite the increase in competition, the market should be strong enough for new chains to flourish.

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