Cheese is a great way to add flavor and differentiation to your burger lineup. Cheeses with spicy or pungent flavors like pepper jack or parmesan can add depth, while cheeses with creamy textures or craft sources like brie or goat cheese convey a higher, more premium quality. While consumers are increasingly interested in flavor innovation, they still largely go traditional.
The majority of consumers prefer a more traditional cheese such as American, Cheddar or Swiss on their burgers.* These cheeses impart a more mild flavor that accent rather than overwhelm. But basic doesn’t have to mean boring. Incorporating locally sourced varieties or branded cheeses into your menu can help you appeal to premium-seekers and raise the bar on basic.
Cheeses such as jalapeno cheddar, gorgonzola, and bleu are gaining menu traction as consumers become more adventurous. To ensure they don’t overwhelm your burger’s flavor, try tempering them with toppings such as caramelized onions or condiments like lemon aioli.
Soft-textured varieties such as brie and goat cheese can add some worldly flair as well as impart rich flavor. Try spreading an herbed goat cheese on a chewy ciabatta roll for a burger that’s refined yet accessible.
Though bolder and distinctive cheeses such as Pepper Jack and Muenster have a legitimate following, it’s obvious that most patrons still prefer the classics on their burgers – such as American, Cheddar and Swiss. As this Technomic study reinforces, even the under-35 crowd finds it hard to deviate from the milder, tried-and-true favorites.
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