Facts, Terms & Trends

The State of Burgers in the U.S. 2021

“The burger brings people back to happy times – it’s nostalgic, comforting,” explains Chef Bradley Borchardt, Cargill Senior Corporate Chef of Innovation and Strategy, “it’s the closest thing the U.S. has to a staple food.” It was loved before the pandemic, needed during the pandemic, and will never play itself out … it’s an iconic, versatile, flavor-embracing format.

PRE-PANDEMIC [life is good]

84% of consumers either love or like burgers.1

55% of consumers eat burgers at least once a week.2

The burger expands into the morning daypart and/or fried eggs show up on burgers. 

59% say affordability is a key factor when deciding where to order a burger.2

47% are concerned about quality and freshness of delivery burgers.2

DURING PANDEMIC [turning to comfort food]

In times of high-stress, people crave comfort food – sales reflect that.3

60% of consumers are likely to use drive-thrus, 52% will likely order online for takeout, 44% will likely order online for delivery – when stay-at-home orders are not in effect.4

Comfort foods surge. People turn to burgers and pizza.

59% say affordability is a key factor when deciding where to order a burger.2

47% are concerned about quality and freshness of delivery burgers.2

POST-PANDEMIC [we can’t wait to go out!]

The majority of consumers say that they will return to normal eating habits, when the government declares it’s safe.3

Consumers will likely seek out value meals, LTOs, freebies, etc.6

37% of operators expect to continue offering comfort foods after business returns to normal. (11% expect to continue offering meal kits.)7

Delivery and takeout will continue to be high in demand. Third party delivery to reach an all-time high in 2022.7

Only 7% of diners currently say they will never return to pre-pandemic levels of eating out.7

Turning to the Burger.

Restaurants that previously stayed away from the humble burger are now relying on them as burgers are extremely customizable and can adapt to almost any menu. “Burgers present the opportunity to play around and have fun,” explains Chef Bradley Borchardt, “they’re a great vehicle to use interesting condiments, flavors, toppings and carriers.” Signature sauces, global flavors, unique breads (or no bread) and burger meal kits are all valid ideas for today – and going forward.


  • Think about your revenue options: delivery, meal kits, catering, signature items.
  • Stay one step ahead of your customers; avoid menu fatigue. 
  • Don’t forget who you are. Create burgers that are right for your restaurant.

The State of the Burger is Alive and Well – and Surging.

If you’re looking for a great start to your next burger, consider TNT™ Burgers. Then let your creativity and menu-style take it from there.

1 The Provisioner, “2020 Burger Report: The lovefest continues” March 2020

2 Technomic, Inc. 2019

3 Eatos “Rise of Burgers during COVID-19 Pandemic” July 2020

4 Technomnic Foodservice lmpact Monitor, May 15, 2020

5 Technomic Foodservice Impact !Monitor, May 1, 2020

6 Technomic Talks, Technomic, Inc. 2020

7 Technomic Foodservice Impact Monitor, May 8, 2020

Icon: burger

Bring these ideas to life with one of our burgers

TNT Burgers – Tasty n Tender

TNT™ Burgers

The premium IQF foodservice burger patties that deliver perfectly seasoned, fresh-from-the-grill taste, and superior tenderness and juiciness even after competitive hold times.

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Cedar Canyon®

The burger patties made exclusively from primal rib meat and no added ingredients that deliver an upscale flavor profile and demand a higher price point.

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Maverick® Burgers

The 100% pure beef, unseasoned burger patties that are proprietarily formed to be wider to provide superior bun coverage and to deliver a heartier burger eating experience.


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