In Focus
EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, UK
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The cuisine types offering opportunities across Europe

Times are getting tougher in the QSR and fast casual space, with recent weeks seeing reports of GBK pulling back on expansion plans and Byron Burger undergoing a strategic review.

But against this backdrop, there is still opportunity, both in the UK and on mainland Europe for both burgers, and other types of fast food.

German research company Dalia surveyed 5,218 people across France, Germany, Spain and the UK, revealing each country actually wanted more burger restaurants and American food.

The data segmented each country’s preferences into five different ethnic food trends – with American food consisting of burgers and fries topping the survey with 22% in Germany. German respondents also cited local food, Chinese food, and Greek food – all with 21% as what they would like to see more of.

A majority of French people say they prefer local food (25%), with another 22% craving Chinese food. Also, only France included sushi and seafood, with 23% and 20% respectively.
34% of respondents from Spain opt to have a variety of healthy food in the country, followed by local food (28%). Spain was the only country that listed barbecue as one of its favorites. Consistent on the list across each country surveyed, Burgers received a total of 19%.

The United Kingdom has also listed burgers as their preferred cuisine with 24% saying they want more burger brands where they live.

Among Germany, the UK, Spain, and France, searches for burgers have seen the greatest increase over time, while most other food types have stayed relatively stable.

With the UK topping other European countries in their desire for hamburgers, it is perhaps difficult to square this with difficulties being seen in the burger space. Cyril Lavenant of NPD said, “It is hard to say if there are too many burger chains as burgers are still growing, at +3% in servings over the past 12 months, in the total OOH market.

“However the competition for burgers has strongly increased in the past decade, within burger restaurants who are more numerous and who up their game, and with the growth of other types of restaurants. For instance Pubs now account for 14% of all burger visits compared to slightly less than 12% in 2010,” he added.

Maria Bertoch, NPD’s Industry Expert for Europe, said, “Obviously, the UK, United States and Australia have higher burger consumption per year per capita. As you can see, France is even more "burger"-orientated than Germany.

“Then, southern Europe (Spain and Italy) still have a potential to develop, Spain being ahead of Italy with the concepts like http://www.thegoodburger.com/ and overall slightly more burger concepts compared to Italy, where pizza dominates.”

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