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No matter which French city you are in, it is now much easier to find a hamburger than ever before. What used to be a niche food, reserved for fast food American outlets, has undoubtedly become mainstream. While the French used to be a bit snooty about American food, they have made the burger their own – go to any major town in France and you’ll trip over home-made burger restaurants selling top-notch meat in achingly hip buns. It is said that 85% of French restaurants now serve burgers à la carte.
Gira Conseil, the company which conducted research into French lunchtime eating habits, said that it interviewed over 1,000 bars and restaurants across France and discovered that the burger is currently outselling the ham baguette. Last year, France ate over 1.4 billion burgers, compared to 1.2 billion ham baguettes. The consultancy firm confirmed that the last three years have witnessed an explosion in the demand for burgers in France.
The Guardian recently reported that the response from the French service industry to the news that the burger is outselling the baguette has been disbelief and that the baguette’s demise is being overstated. So what’s the story? Well, burgers are definitely popular. Outside the US, France has been McDonald’s number one market for the past few years and unlike other countries, in France a McDonald’s meal is the same price as a cheaper restaurant meal, so people are choosing a Big Mac through preference. The French love their burgers. However, the French still bought 2.4 billion baguettes in total last year, so it’s clearly still a favourite.