Seasoned French fries, premium gourmet burgers, more chicken sandwiches and creative condiments like aioli-style mayonnaise are forecast to be the next big trends in burgers next year, predicts an authoritative burger blog.
According to the predictions of BurgerBusiness.com, the rising price of beef and the falling prices of chicken breast will have a major impact on the fast food market, with a renewed focus on chicken sandwiches and chicken items appearing on menus across the board.A quick scan of major fast food chains seems to suggest the burger blog isn't far off the mark. Wendy’s for instance, has launched what it is calling Project Gold Chicken, a complete overhaul of its chicken menu that will debut a range of new poultry products next year.
In January, McDonald’s is set to launch Chicken McBites, a box of shrunken chicken McNuggets akin to KFC’s Popcorn Chicken, and earlier this year, Burger King reformulated its Chicken Tenders.
Mainstream fast food chains will finally catch on to the appetite for premium, gourmet burgers that swept the independent burger market over the last few years, and launch sandwiches that cross the $5 threshold, predicts Burger Business, with combo meals pushing the $8 mark.
On the last point, however, not all trendspotters agree. New York-based consultancy firm Baum + Whiteman, for instance, predicts that the appetite for gourmet burgers may start to wane in 2012 given how new burger chains seem to be opening every few weeks, jostling for customers. Their burger prediction? The burger bubble is set to pop next year.
Meanwhile, in order to win customer loyalty, joints will be jazzing up everything from fries to toppings to condiments next year, says Burger Business.
For example, watch for McDonald’s to import its Hot & Spicy Shaker Fries from Singapore, fries that come with a packet of seasoning to sprinkle over the fries, Burger Business predicts.
Or fries could come with flavor-packed mayo aiolis, like sun-dried tomato mayo, Pico de Gallo (Mexican salsa) Sriracha mayo, or house-made barbecue sauces.
And a major push towards healthy eating will also see more fresh vegetables top burger patties, like fresh spinach and grilled red onions Burger Business predicts - perhaps to lessen the guilt.