The UK burger bar market is estimated to be worth £3.28b in 2016 according to Mintel, up 22% from £2.7b in 2011.
Mintel research revealed that three in five (60%) Brits have visited a burger outlet in the last three months.
Londoners are the most frequent visitors of gourmet burger bars, with one in five eating at a gourmet burger bar in the last three months, up from a national average of 7%.
When it comes to what makes a burger venue ‘gourmet', freshly made burgers top the list. Some 71% of Brits would expect freshly made burgers from a gourmet burger venue, followed by customisable burgers (54%) and a choice of how the burger is cooked (48%).
For others ingredients are more important. Almost a third (31%) of Brits would expect to see artisanal ingredients at a gourmet burger venue, while 25% would expect detailed information on where ingredients come from and 22% would expect information about which cuts of meat were used.
For one in 10 consumers it's not about the burger at all; they expected a gourmet burger venue to have craft alcoholic drinks on the menu.
Even outside gourmet burger bars, customisation is a trait consumers are keen to see at fast food restaurants. Two in five (41%) fast food bar users are interested in seeing customisable dishes, for example selecting the bread, meat and toppings, and 35% are interested in a wider choice of burgers with meat other than beef. Meanwhile, 16% of fast food consumers would be interested in seeing alcoholic beverages on the menu.
Nearly a third (31%) of UK fast food eaters would be interested in trying high-fibre bun options, 23% a wider choice of non-meat options and 14% more gluten-free dishes.
Kiti Soininen, head of UK food and drink research at Mintel, said: "Consumers see freshly made burgers as the biggest marker of a gourmet burger venue, something that sets them apart as this is not traditionally offered by fast food venues. Customisation is also a top expectation for gourmet offerings, in line with a more general demand for knowing what goes into one's food and the trend for personalisation. Fast food venues are already looking to incorporate customisation options into their menus and competitors should look to follow suit."
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