The fact that burgers in South Korea are this unpopular baffles me.

Seoul, South Korea
Seoul, South Korea

I know, hate is a strong word, and the title of the infographic below is pretty dramatic. But although the word is easy to throw out, I simply can’t get to understand these numbers unless I use the most dreaded verb of all.

Having the U.S. as the number one per capita consumer is also a statistic that is so 1997. Why are the Americans still on top when we know how popular burgers have become around the world the past years?

Download infographic:

Popularity of Hamburgers in South Korea

But before going further, let me list the references here so that the facts on why burgers in South Korea are so not pop actually make sense:

So now that we have that out of the way, let me break this down by going further down the list:

Hamburger Consumption In France


Hamburger Consumption In France


According to a new study, three quarters of restaurants in France have a hamburger on their menu and 80 percent say the burger is the top selling dish. British newspaper Telegraph reports that the French ate 1.19 billion burgers in 2016, a bigger number compared to the previous year. And is not what you think: It’s not exclusively due to McDonald’s, even though France has become the chain’s largest market. The reason is simple: Burgers has become pop at dine-in restaurants, from fast-casual joints to higher-end restaurants.

hamburger Consumption In Canada

Hamburger Consumption In Canada


The leading fast food chains in the country focused on upgrading their offers in 2015, making Canadians interest in burgers maintain its high level. This was partly due to a increasing demand for high-quality and healthy alternatives and a growing interest in local produce. So much that even McDonald’s, in their effort to fend off growing competition from smaller premium burger fast food chains such as Five Guys, launched their premium Mighty Angus burger produced from 100% Angus beef from Canadian farms. This focus on healthier and more ethical ingredients is expected to remain an important trend in Canada.

Hamburger Consumption In Canada

Hamburger Consumption In the United Kingdom


There are particularly two big trends happening in the United Kingdom. The British lifestyle is busier than ever before, and people are just less willing to cook for themselves. The attraction to burgers and other types of fast food comes naturally. On top of that, UK fast food has improved a lot in terms of quality and diversity the past years. Like Canada, more attention is paid to quality and health, which is something that has made many eateries adapt. Burger King made it official this year (2016) that it would begin to serve beer at its Waterloo Station restaurant, and other chains are also likely to begin to sell beer. McDonalds launched table service in 2015, while Burger King is currently trying out their new home delivery service. 

Burgers In South Korea

Hamburger Consumption In South Korea


In general, burgers in South Korea are playing a more visible part than ever before. As the country’s economy is expected to continue to perform poorly, fast food will have more advantages than other categories in consumer food service due to its range of products and prices. As a result, many fast food places is developing menus at affordable prices to attract people who are looking for nice meals within a limited price range. The funny things is, while burgers seem to be the most inexpensive food item in the West for the same purposes, in South Korea it’s not. Rather than going for the quick burger and fries meal, South Koreans opt for the ever-popular lunchboxes instead.

According to Statistics Korea, single-person households accounted for 9% of the total in 1990 and 27% in 2015. With this rapid number of single-person households rising, many convenience stores developed lunch box menus to attract them. These lunch boxes have been massively popular in South Korea, and while we tend to eat a quick burger in the West it appears that South Koreans simply opt out.

All pictures in the article “Why Are Burgers In South Korea So Unpopular?”:



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