Across all restaurant channels, burgers continue to be the most common protein dish. Beef burgers have stalled in growth, with chicken increasing by 1% from 2017.

The rise of customisation

Although beef is a popular ingredient for a burger, the protein used can be adapted and created to appeal to current menu and food trends.


As a key food product in 2018, jackfruit is a popular meat alternative. Vegan dishes have had a remarkable 237% growth. Protein sources such as seitan, tofu and jackfruit are all popular vegan choices. Since 2017, there have been 100 additional vegan options added to restaurant menus in the UK.


Chicken is the dominant type of food eaten out of home, with it being a main protein source in 22% of lunch and dinner dishes. Chicken has a healthier white meat image with lower price points. At 51% chicken is the leading protein source in fast food outlets and, given it’s healthier image, chicken burgers are suitable
options for a healthy eating diet.


Halloumi has had growing interest within vegetarian dishes. Combining halloumi, with Middle Eastern spices or sauces and a flat Portobello mushroom, makes a good vegetarian friendly alternative.

Chicken has overtaken beef as the top protein group. This is being driven by it’s healthier image (MCA Menu and Food Trend report 2018)


Where do you eat your burger?

When ‘eating out’, a burger (beef or chicken) appears in the Top 10 dishes eaten in all restaurant settings, albeit it is consumed in its highest quantities in fast food settings. Percentage shows the amount of burgers in the top 10 dishes by sector.

How do you eat your burger? 

Note – Healthier eating defined as low calorie, low fat, low salt, low sugar

Sources – MCA Menu and Food Trend Report 2018; The Food People Cuisines and Ingredients 2018-2019; Waitrose Food and Drink Report 2017-2018