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Burgers remain a staple in consumers' diets, with consumers eating an average of 3.7 burgers a month, finds Technomic's Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report. Competition is high and the still emerging fast-casual burger segment will have to contend with rising commodity prices and the growing list of "better burgers" offered at lower prices by quick-service restaurants. Nevertheless, fast-casual burger concepts are poised for further growth due to the continued importance today's consumers place on premium, customizable and innovative burgers that they consider to be healthier than quick-service options. Further, consumers are willing to pay more for better burgers if they are perceived to be a good overall value.

"Conveying quality through 'hand-pressed' and 'never frozen' attributes can satisfy a broad range of needstates, while implementing value cuts and non-beef proteins can lower costs," suggests Deanna Jordan, senior consumer insights research analyst at Technomic. "Adding variety through toppings and portions can also give consumers more price options."

The 2015 Canadian Burger Consumer Trend Report compiles consumer and menu data from Technomic's proprietary Digital Resource Library and MenuMonitor resources, in addition to survey responses from more than 1,000 Canadian consumers. The report's findings include:

On a weekly basis, 48% of male consumers purchase burgers from restaurants compared to 35% of women.

Consumers rank meat quality/taste as the most important burger attribute, followed by price/value for the money, quality/taste of toppings, and quality/taste of the bun. At limited-service restaurants, mushroom & Swiss tops the list of fastest-growing burger varieties since 2013 with a 100% increase in menu-item incidence. Chicken burgers win out at full-service restaurants, growing by 5%.