Can you tell us a little of the history of your brand?

Lantmännen Unibake acquired Americana in 2008, bringing the brand to the UK market for the first time. The acquisition was part of Lantmännen Unibake’s ambition to expand its UK footprint and 16 years later, having navigated the acquisition, the brand is still going from strength to strength.

All our buns produced in our factory in Milton Keynes are made using a traditional American sponge and dough method to give a distinctive soft and spongy texture, unique to Americana. All Americana products are supplied frozen and pre-sliced, so that operators can prepare and serve products as and when needed, quickly and easily, with minimal wastage.

Today, our Americana buns are produced in our state of the art and halal accredited bakeries in Milton Keynes. The factories are recognised as best in class because they are using the latest bakery equipment and technology, and the buns are baked in individual pans for consistency to give the best possible quality.

What is driving the success and growth of Americana?

Burgers continue to be a staple on many menus; 1.3 billion are consumed each year in the UK1 and in a market worth almost £100 billion, they account for 17% of all eating out occasions2. As cost-of-living challenges start to loosen their grip on consumers, we are seeing more people eat out of home more often, and when they do, they are looking for quality dining experiences. As a result, the gourmet sub-set of the burger market is starting to experience growth. This, combined with the fact that American cuisine and Americana-inspired dishes are increasing in popularity with British consumers, presents brands such as ours, and indeed the wider hospitality industry, with an opportunity to capitalise.

At Americana, it is product quality that sets us apart from other brands on the market and is at the core of our success. We benchmark our products to ensure the best possible quality and review our product ranges regularly to confirm that they meet customer and consumer demands. We work hard to work collaboratively with our customers and foster a relationship beyond the transactional ‘product in a box’ relationship – be it wholesalers, cash & carries, distributors or operators.

We aim to position our Americana brand as thought leaders of the fast food and especially the burger category. Therefore, we invest heavily in consumer research, market insights and marketing so that we can provide our customers and end user outlets with the latest added value trends and recommendations to empower them to make the most out of their menus.

The latest insight shows gourmet burger buns as the largest opportunity. Just recently, we commissioned consumer research looking at what diners deem to be Britain’s Best Burger3. To support our range we used this data as the basis of a multi-channel Americana brand campaign; we launched the campaign via PR, social media and print advertising, worked with a leading food influencer to extend reach and drive engagement, and drive pull through demand for our wholesale and foodservice customers. Meanwhile, we produced a range of insight led assets including guides, photography and recipes to support burger and bun sales for both our customers and end users.

How has Americana dared to be different?

Americana is a thought leader in the fast food breads category and will always go the extra mile for its customers – we like to think we do more than just sell cases of burger buns!

We pride ourselves on always sharing what we know, producing useful insights and reports based on market reviews and utilising them to create insightful tools to support our industry colleagues from product recommendations to on-trend recipes. We also like to keep our finger on the pulse-point of what’s going on in the industry. Our sponsorship of industry events like the National Burger Award, burger research tours and industry benchmarking present us with opportunities to do just that and check we are aligned with the market. Taking this dedicated thought leadership approach means that we know our market inside out, we can quickly identify opportunities for our brand and our customers.

This is done in conjunction with constantly looking for emerging consumer trends that we can use to inform our brand strategy. For example, last year we identified that Asian flavours were the next big flavour in street food and burgers, and launched a brand campaign based on this insight to drive excitement in the industry and help outlets – and therefore wholesalers – to drive sales.

Most recently, we worked with a leading burger influencer to reach new audiences. Influencers are typically a business-to-consumer marketing tool, and we are of course a business-to-business brand, but we know that a lot of outlet owners will follow burger influencers in a personal capacity. This tactic enabled us to get our campaign insights in front of business owners in a different way and get our content moderated and validated by industry experts at the same time.

What opportunities do gourmet burger buns offer wholesalers?

Burgers have relevance all year round – but there is a natural seasonal spike in demand as we head into summer. Sporting events, festivals and outdoor dining are all much more enjoyable when the weather is warmer! And with consumers prepared to pay £5.10 more for a better quality, gourmet burger4, the revenue opportunity presented by gourmet burgers is clear. However, with increase in demand comes increased competitiveness. Creating a one-stop shop of on-trend ingredients and supporting insights to create an on-trend menu for outlets to easily understand and shop, will help wholesalers and outlets stay ahead of the competition.

How can wholesalers maximise sales during the BBQ season this summer?

With summer approaching, now is the time for outlets to plan their summer menus – and wholesalers play a vital role in supporting this. Look at what inspiration, insights and ideas leading industry brands such as Americana have available. It is a quick, easy and cost-effective way for wholesalers to implement and share with outlets to maximise sales in the lead up to, and during, BBQ season. For example, utilise recipe content for seasonal menu inspiration; burgers are hugely versatile and can be themed to any occasion. Wholesalers could create a themed menu to celebrate the EUROs, focusing on a different nation each week to add cultural relevance to their marketing.

Wholesalers should keep up to date with newsletters from brands for the latest trends information and industry insights – the brands have done all the development work and asset creation – it is there to be used! I would also recommend driving collaboration between your suppliers. Wholesalers could, for example, create the Ultimate Burger Box, containing Americana buns with a range of different cheese, filling and protein options – this would not only make it easy for your customers to purchase, but provide them with inspiration at the same time.

Lastly, make it easy. Make the outlets aware of your ranges, and the insights and rationale behind them. Then make it simple to purchase; create packages and costed menus with recipes that are simple for them to execute in their kitchen and for them to shop. Get these insights and assets from the brands you stock to support your summer BBQ sales.

What are the biggest trends in the BBQ/burger category?

The rise of Asian flavours in street food and on burger menus is a trend we identified last autumn5, and isn’t going anywhere as we move through 2024. We know that 33% of consumers purchase street food at least once a week, and 35% order a burger out of home once a week or more. Almost half (49%) of respondents said that the opportunity to enjoy Asian flavours would inspire them to choose a street food burger, and 53% agree that when considering a street food purchase, trying new flavours is a deciding factor.

This tells us that an Asian-inspired burger menu could be the next big thing. Whilst there will always be a place at the table for a classic burger offering, this research shows the importance of on-trend, indulgent seasonal and LTO burger options to provide intrigue and excitement. They will appeal to consumers looking to indulge and willing to pay a higher price point, developing the overall sales opportunity. Wholesalers could package this insight up to create an Asian-inspired burger offering for their customers – and we have a huge asset bank available to help.

What should wholesalers be thinking of when planning their menus?

Never underestimate the importance of the classics when it comes to burger menus but always make sure you’re maximising quality and value. The most popular burger ingredients6 (Britain’s Best Burger) as voted for by British burger consumers were found to be a double beef patty, cheddar cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, tomato sauce and burger sauce. To hold all these fillings in place it’s imperative that outlets have a good quality bun – 82% agreed that a burger in a gourmet bun looks more appealing than a standard bun, with 67% also saying that they would be disappointed if their burger was not served in a gourmet bun. These results clearly show consumer demand for a gourmet bun.

To remain competitive burger ingredients need to be elevated to gourmet standards to meet consumer demand and achieve that higher price point. Consumers are willing to pay £7 more7 than a standard burger for Britain’s Best Burger menu – burgers made from their top voted fillings. Depending on the outlet type, wholesalers can offer different quality and cost levels of ingredients to support across a standard menu or to provide trade up, LTO gourmet menu options.

In short, to keep burger menus engaging and exciting, the classics need to be overlaid with an eye-catching and on-trend seasonal and LTO burger offering and wholesalers can take inspiration from our recent Street Food campaign – think Korean Fried Chicken, Chinese Pulled Pork and Japanese Teriyaki Bean Burger inspired burgers.

What NPD does Americana have coming up?

Our research shows that when it comes to burger buns consumers want good quality, delicious buns that are soft and spongy, but robust enough not to fall apart when eating, and our focus is very much on delivering that. A Brioche bun is still the top seller with vegan options becoming better quality and preferred by outlets as they can be used across menus. With consumers continuing to enjoy the classics, our focus has been on ensuring that the quality of our Americana range meets these needs.

How do you work with wholesalers to grow sales?

Developing a collaborative working relationship with our wholesale partners is imperative to us. We are always keen to find out what our wholesalers are working on and how we can best support them through our insights and brand assets, such as imagery and recipes. We devise insight-led and sales orientated Americana brand campaigns that target outlets to engage and grow the category, which in turn benefits our wholesale partners as the route to market for Americana products – as a sale for the wholesaler, is a sale for us.


Comments are closed.

Over 18


To use this website, you must be aged 18 years or over

This will close in 0 seconds