The combined influence of better-burger restaurants and the fast-casual customization model has had a profound impact on what burger brands now offer consumers. A recent survey by Chicago-based technology and services company Food Genius, which measures menu mentions at restaurant across the U.S., shows that while traditional ingredients like onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms are still the most popular topping options, more unique foods are taking root at burger concepts across the country.
According to Food Genius’s “Flipping the Burger: Menu Trends and Insights” report, peppers appeared on 25 percent of burgers, a percentage point above pickles, while avocado (8 percent), aioli (5 percent), and salsa (4 percent) broke into the list of top 14 toppings. Three quarters of all burgers include at least one type of vegetable, while 50 percent come with a sauce.
Eli Rosenberg, vice president of marketing for Food Genius, says the fact that peppers landed a point higher than pickles was the biggest eye-opener stemming from the report.
“What that tells us is that restaurants are not describing the standard lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles,” he says, “and maybe there are some opportunities either for places that don’t use peppers in the menu items or places to call out or try new things with the pickle.”
Josh Lorence, COO of Florida-based BurgerFi, says that while burgers have been an American favorite for generations, customers today are seeking a more premium product, which extends beyond the quality of the beef.
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Article from QSR Magazine, March 2014, by Bryan Reesman.