Restaurant Burgers Had A Banner Year in 2014, Reports NPD

Higher beef prices incent casual dining restaurants to add more burgers and consumers to choose burgers over beef entrees

Chicago, January 27, 2015 — Against tough competition from other sandwiches and flat to declining restaurant traffic, burgers ordered at U.S. restaurants and foodservice outlets had a banner year in 2014, finds foodservice market research from The NPD Group, a leading global information company. There were 9 billion servings of burgers ordered at U.S. restaurants and foodservice outlets last year, an increase of 3 percent compared to prior year, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research.

Corresponding with the servings ordered at restaurants are ground beef shipments from foodservice distributors to restaurants and other foodservice outlets. Bulk ground beef unit shipments to total foodservice outlets increased by 2 percent, reports NPD’s SupplyTrack®, a monthly service that tracks every product shipped from major broadline distributors to foodservice operators. Bulk ground beef case shipments to quick service restaurants increased by 3 percent, by 4 percent to quick service hamburger restaurants, which drive 70% of bulk ground beef sales, and 1 percent to full service restaurants.

The burger category’s gain is the sandwich category’s loss. Sandwich servings overall declined by 2 percent in 2014 compared to 2013, a servings volume loss of 201 million, finds NPD. Grilled chicken sandwiches, which tend to be burgers’ chief competitor, had a challenging year with a servings decline of 9 percent, a loss of 129 million servings.

Burger serving increases also outpaced foodservice traffic growth in 2014, which was flat for the total foodservice industry and quick service restaurants, and declined by 1 and 3 percent, respectively, at casual dining and family dining (midscale) restaurants. Visits to quick service hamburger restaurants, at which burgers were included in 51 percent of orders, were down 3 percent though hamburger servings were up 3 percent.

Although burgers typically aren’t a top item ordered at casual dining restaurants — only 11 percent of casual dining orders included a burger — burger servings increased by 4 percent. More burgers were added to casual dining restaurant menus to offset higher beef prices and the need to charge more for beef entrees; and consumers chose burgers over higher priced beef entrees. Beef entree servings declined by 8 percent at casual dining restaurants, a servings volume loss of 55 million, reports NPD.

“The success of burgers in 2014 was a combination of factors,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst. “Quick service restaurant chains launched new burger items, casual dining restaurants added more burger items to the menu to offset higher beef costs, and Americans simply love their burgers.”


Related Press Releases

Aging U.S. Consumers Slow Down Food And Beverage Consumption Making It A Battle for Market Share
Aging U.S. Consumers Slow Down Food And Beverage Consumption Making It A Battle for Market Share

The aging population and corresponding changes in life stage will contribute to the decline in total eating occasions on a per capita basis in the U.S., according to The NPD Group’s recently released Eating Patterns in America.

What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.
What’s Life Stage Versus Generational Behavior When It Comes to Dinner Planning? Millennials Are Showing Us The Difference.

It’s a common oversight not to age generations or recognize how life stage can impact behavior. To understand the difference between generational and life stage behaviors enables food companies and foodservice operators to develop products and marketing messages that are more relevant to their target consumer audiences.

It’s PSL Time! Pumpkin Spice Latte Limited Time Offers Are Still Working It for Fans and Foodservice Operators
It’s PSL Time! Pumpkin Spice Latte Limited Time Offers Are Still Working It for Fans and Foodservice Operators

The payoff for coffee and restaurant chains promoting seasonal pumpkin spice latte limited time offers are more visits and a higher average check size, according to The NPD Group’s Checkout Analytics.

Total U.S. Restaurant Count At 660,755 in Spring 2018, A One Percent Drop From Last Year, Reports NPD
Total U.S. Restaurant Count At 660,755 in Spring 2018, A One Percent Drop From Last Year, Reports NPD

The U.S. restaurant count reached 660,755 in spring of 2018, a 1 percent decrease in units from a year ago, according to a restaurant census conducted by The NPD Group. The primary source of the decline in U.S. restaurant units was a two percent drop in independent restaurant units.


Press Contact

Kim McLynn
847-692-1781
kim.mclynn@npd.com

@npdfood

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.


Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.