12 July 2011

Demand for vegetarian burger options in restaurants grows with young consumers

Even though more Americans than ever are eating burgers, some of those mass consumers are demanding the veggie variety, according to a new study released by Technomic, a research company. Nearly half of this country’s population eats a burger at least once a week compared to only 38 percent just two years ago.
It’s the younger consumers (18 to 34 year olds) who seek out the non-meat burgers with many of them (23 percent) asserting that it’s important for restaurants to at least offer a vegetarian option. Ironically, fast food chains and their value menus have made the burger more popular but it’s not the drive through version most Americans are seeking.
"The value menu is certainly a big part of this increase in burger consumption," says Sara Monnette, Director of Consumer Research at Technomic.
The importance of all natural, hormone-free, steroid-free and antibiotic-free meat burger has grown since 2009. Nearly 50 percent of consumers currently say they want their fowl or bovine burgers drug-free. As for cheese? It’s regular or vegan cheddar all the way except at fast food restaurants where the top choice is still American.
Who knows? The near future at Burger King just might include a trip in the Prius with a drive through “have it your way” veggie burger sporting spinach, tomato, Daiya cheese and Veganaise. Hey, we can dream!

Kathryn Lorusso
Kathryn is a former journalist and English teacher who now counsels and mediates teenage drama on a daily basis in the Dallas, Ft. Worth metroplex. Time away from school is spent cooking up new macrobiotic/vegan specialties, writing various blogs and newsletters and taking as many bikram yoga classes as possible.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/dan4th