Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How can you tell if the Burger sector is about to peak?

There is no doubt that consumer love burgers.  There is one problem however you can buy a burger from Quick Service Restaurant, Quick Casual Restaurant, Casual Restaurant, Full Service High End Restaurant, Convenience Store, Grocery stores both fresh prepared and frozen and Vending Machines. 

Within the retail food sector there are four universal commonalities that when all four converge generally you will find the top of any trend. Here are those there universal commonalities:

1.       When legacy food research companies come out and tout new research showing sector growth in new units built but per-unit volumes slipping within the sector.
2.       When Beef (core product) consumption per person is on the decline. That will create additional consternation within the sector. Beef consumption per person is in the U.S. is in decline.
3.       When retail trade magazines run story after story of “successful” new burger chains expanding via franchising (using others people’s money) to fuel growth.
4.       Local and National newspapers and blogs run poles on overrated and underrated burger’s at restaurants.

During the past 4 decades hamburgers drove sales and propelled the overall restaurant industry. Without a doubt the hamburger is now globally recognized as a penultimate American food. It is ready-2-eat, hand held and prepared to eat on the run; convenient, simple and affordable. Consumers know what they are getting and feel safe when ordering a burger out. Contrary to popular belief all Americans do not eat hamburgers daily. Universal commonalities 1, 2, and 3 all readers of this blog know are true and underway because they have been following the success of the grocerant niche here.

That being said, last week in St. Louis, River Front Times reporter Ian Froeb ran a pole asking readers to vote on the most overrated burger in St. Louis. They were looking for local burger joints, but were surprised by the voluminous response to the pole and the number of respondents that wanted to list “chain” restaurants as well that chain was Smashburger.  What is important is the “main stream media” is out front on this topic and will continue until we see clear winners and losers. Who do you think is overrated?

There simply is not room in the minds-eye of the consumer for all of the hamburger chains in America today. That is simply another reason that the growth of the grocerant niche will continue to garner market share. Yes, burger chains are included in the niche but will play a supporting role moving forward.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

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