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Building a better burger

The humble burger is going through an evolution. Gone are the days where a burger automatically equaled a ground beef patty garnished with the same old toppings served on a tired bun. Canadians are craving a better burger, one that features unexpected ingredients, high quality toppings and distinctive sauces, all sandwiched between artisan breads. And Canadian Foodservice is answering the call. In fact, specialty burger offerings have steadily increased since 2009 and more than 60% of Canadian full service concepts have specialty burgers on their menus.*

What makes a burger better? 

Today’s burgers are loaded with on-trend ingredients and flavours that target an increasingly sophisticated palate. It all starts with the protein base. Ground beef is still a popular choice, but consumers are all about the quality and taste. Think patties made from Angus or other premium grass-fed beef. Mixing ground pork in with ground beef produces a juicy result, while ground turkey and chicken present deliciously lean options. Even a grilled Portobello mushroom makes a surprisingly versatile meat-free option for veggie burger lovers.

The right sauce takes it “premium”

With the proliferation of unique sauces available in Canada, it’s easy to find the perfect complement to your masterpiece. Flavored mayo and aioli, Mediterranean-inspired choices, and next-level Italian that go beyond pesto and marinara, are catching up to the more traditional sauces in popularity. And with the rise of options like extra spicy habanero and wasabi, next-level ethnic sauces influenced by the flavours of Africa and Korea, and unique spreads like tapenade and chutney, the opportunities for taking your burger to the next level seem limitless.

Toppings with a twist

High quality vegetables and toppings play a big role in elevating a burger’s status. Swap out plain old iceburg lettuce for peppery arugula or crunchy coleslaw. Ditch the slice of tomato for a mound of roasted red pepper or a sweet grilled pineapple ring. Instead of cheddar cheese, try smoked Gouda or buttery Brie. The alternatives are only limited by your imagination.

What’s on the outside counts, too

A premium burger needs a bun that measures up. Chefs are increasingly choosing non-traditional options such as pretzel buns, brioche, sourdough and ciabatta bread to really showcase what’s inside. Buttering and toasting the bun preserves the exterior integrity while ensuring the inside is soft and fresh when you bite into it.

Now that Canadians are expecting more out of their burger they are willing to pay more for delicious choices that satisfy their cravings. Adding a better burger to your menu can help you capitalize on the trend.

* Source: Technomic Menu Monitor 2013

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