Bernard Boutboul is the head of a restaurant researcher named Gira Conseil based in Paris and said “Protein between two slices of bread, the French love it… The explosion of burgers is coming from restaurants. It’s affordable and chefs want to show they can make a quality burger.”
The economic downturn in France has meant the population are looking for cheaper means of food that can be eaten fast. This is happening in a place where Jose Bove is, the farmer, activist and ex presidential candidate who accused fast food heavyweight McDonald’s of serving junk food, or “malbouffe”.
Last year, 2.14 billion sandwiches were sold in France. Of these, 977 million were hamburgers. Most of these burger sales were from McDonald’s, but up market restaurants often have a burger on the menu.
McDonald’s is currently getting between 1.8 and 2 million customers passing through its doors daily. The US company The Oak Brook published a list of its sales, which documented €4.5 billion ($6.09 billion) worth of burger sales, which is a 2.4% rise from the previous year.
Major French cities such as Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux are seeing huge leaps of popularity in burger trucks. The national newspaper Le Figaro is one of many publications to start printing their favourite burger restaurants and trucks.
With this rise, France have become one of the biggest burger consuming nation in Europe. In 2012, a report was published by the NPD group stating that the French average 14 burgers per year per person on average. In the same report, Germans were found to average 12 burgers per person per year, and British people averaged 17 burgers per person per year. The numbers of French people eating burgers is triple that of the people eating steak.
Christine Tartanson of the NPD stated, “The burger targets a mixed clientele, because half of their consumers are women… So it’s much less divisive than red meat usually eaten by men.”