Burgers are a popular snack among Americans with approximately 50 billion burgers eaten every year (Rolfes). The average American eats approximately three burgers every week (Rolfes). Many fast food enterprises in the country such as McDonalds, KFC and Burger King boost their sales significantly by including burgers in their daily menu. However, health concerns revolving around increased obesity rates among Americans have led to them being shunned by health conscious members of the society, especially athletes and fitness enthusiasts, owing to their high cholesterol and fat composition. The irreconcilable relationship between the society’s love for burgers and their health concerns has created a need gap. This is what has made the idea of healthy burgers viable, as they would cater for the customers’ love for burgers while taking into account their health concerns. Healthy burgers are similar to regular burgers except that they replace the buns with lettuce, which has significantly less cholesterol and fat than the traditionally used buns. This paper is a market analysis for healthy burgers, examining the consumption rates for burgers, the market size, growth rate and future potential growth of the market as well as the market trends and the barriers that might hinder the entry of healthy burgers as a new product in the market.
Consumption Rates and Market Size
The market for burgers is huge in the American market, with Americans consuming approximately 150 burgers per year on average (Rolfes). The average American eats approximately three burgers every week (Rolfes). Burgers are particularly popular among young working Americans and students who may be too busy and may prefer to grab a quick snack between breaks than to have a full course meal at a restaurant. This age group is in a better position to buy the burgers and is less concerned with their health and physical fitness. They also form the majority of the American population, with the percentage of Americans between ages 18 years and 44 years standing at 36.5% according to the 2010 national census (United States Census Bureau). For the healthy burgers, the age group above 44 years old, which accounts for 39.4% of the American population and an increasing number of the younger Americans in the formerly discussed age group are more concerned of their health and will prefer the healthy burgers over the regular burgers (United States Census Bureau).
Market Trends and Potential Future Growth in the Market
Recent years have, however, seen a decline in the average consumption of burgers, especially among the older population, owing to health concerns occasioned by increasing obesity rates in American society with 68.8% of American adults considered obese (Mitchell et al.). Consumers have become increasingly concerned with the cholesterol and fat composition of the foods they eat, including burgers. Leading in the index of the consumers who are most concerned with the health impacts of their food are athletes, fitness enthusiasts and the older generation. This has created a need for healthy food products such as healthy burgers and other fast foods. This trend alliterates to the potential growth for the healthy burger market in the future as more and more Americans become more concerned with their health and place more emphasis on the consumption of healthy foods.
Barriers to Entry in the Market
Despite increasing health concerns among a portion of the American society, the majority of fast food customers are in the student and young working Americans category whose concerns on healthy food consumption are not so high. This population is more concerned with the taste of the food they eat than its fat and cholesterol composition and may shun the healthy burgers as they may consider them not delicious enough. The producers of the regular burgers are also bound to increase their marketing efforts to maintain their market share in the advent of competition from healthy burgers. Being more established and accepted among the customers, there is bound to be stiff completion for the healthy burgers.
Stiff competition from the established fast food providers and apparent indifference on the part of the younger generation who form the majority of buyers of burgers in the country are the factors that might hinder the success of the healthy burgers in the American market. Other factors may include: Lack of capital for mass production of the healthy burgers and running a vigorous marketing campaign to introduce them to the public and popularize among the younger as well as older generations.
To conclude, there is a large market for burgers in America, with a majority of society eating burgers on a regular basis. The larger market exists among young students and working Americans between the ages of 18 and 44 years old who account for a bigger population. Increased health concerns occasioned by increased rates of obesity, which have been blamed on over reliance on fast foods among the American population, have, however, led to the shunning of regular burgers by members of the population. It has created a need for the healthy burgers, which replace the traditional buns with the less hazardous lettuce hence addressing the health issues in societal. The older generation of Americans between ages 45 and 79 is more concerned with their health. Consequently, they form the bulk of the target market for healthy burgers. What is more, targeted are the athletes and fitness enthusiasts who take their diet more seriously. The entrance of healthy burgers into the fast food market is bound to face challenges from the established fast food providers who serve the regular burgers and have more market share and marketing abilities. The young population will be also a hard domain to sell the idea of healthy burgers as they are more concerned with the taste of their food than the potential health benefits they could get.
Mitchell, Nia S. et al. “Obesity: Overview of an Epidemic”. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, vol. 34, no. 4, 2011, pp. 717-732. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.psc.2011.08.005.
Rolfes, Ellen. “The Hidden Costs of Hamburgers”. PBS, 2012.
United States Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration U.S. CENSUS BUREAU Age and Sex Composition: 2010. U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration, Washington, 2011.