'Better burger movement' a hit with Canadians

October 06 2014

It's not being overly dramatic to say that few things in life are more disappointing than ordering a scrumptious-looking burger from a fast food menu, only to find the reality is a slightly off-colour patty accompanied by rubbery processed cheese and a soggy bun.

Canadians, it seems, simply aren't prepared to put up with substandard burgers any more. A new national survey from BrandSpark International of more than 6,000 people highlighted the growing popularity of the so-called "better burger movement" - an approach adopted by A&W, which showcases its use of hormone-free beef in its advertising.

Clearly, this message is hitting home. Approximately one in three respondents to the poll named A&W as the home of Canada's best-tasting burger, making it the runaway winner of a category packed full of competitors.

Denis Hancock, director of consumer insights at BrandSpark International, credited A&W for doing a "really great job" over the years by elevating perceptions about the quality of its burgers. The focus on hormone-free beef has raised the bar even further, he argued.

The success of the company's strategy could have wider implications for the fast food sector. If Canadians are more interested in the standard of their burger than other factors - like speed of service or price - then other brands may need to rethink the way they advertise and concentrate on upping the quality of their food. But will they be able to do this without making major changes to their business models?

"It will be very interesting to see how far traditional fast food restaurants take this 'better burger movement' - particularly when you factor the balance between time and expense that goes into making quality burgers versus the low price and quick service combination consumers are accustomed to," commented Mr Hancock.