Burgers Outsell Baguettes in France

21 March, 2018

You might think a sandwich made with baguette bread is the most popular food in France. But think again. The French are going crazy for hamburgers.

A new study shows that sales of American-style burgers have overtaken the sales of the traditional jambon-beurre baguettes — the classic French ham and butter sandwich.

Gira Conseil is a French restaurant marketing company. Its study says about 1.2 billion ham and butter sandwiches were sold in France in 2017. About 1.4 billion burgers were sold during the same period.

Sales of both baguette sandwiches and hamburgers are on the rise, the study says. It notes that the ham and butter sandwich saw a 1.3 percent growth in 2017, while burger sales recorded a 9 percent increase last year.

FILE - Baguettes are seen as they come out of the oven of the bakery La Parisienne in Paris, Friday, March 18, 2016.
FILE - Baguettes are seen as they come out of the oven of the bakery La Parisienne in Paris, Friday, March 18, 2016.

The study says that France's favorite sandwich is slowly losing ground to the hamburger.

Bernard Boutboul is general director of Gira Conseil. He told the Associated Press, "Even the Americans are looking at us with wide-eyed amazement." In other words, the results of the study even shocked Americans.

Boutboul said the hamburger's popularity is not just linked to sales from the American fast food company McDonald's. He said, "It's due to the growing number of restaurants putting burgers on their menu."

Boutboul said 80 percent of restaurants in France included burgers on their menu last year. And he said the rise of the American-style burger started about 10 years ago with a food story in The New York Times.

In 2008, the Times praised the thick, tasty hamburger on the menu at Restaurant Le Dali in Paris. The sandwich included smoked bacon meat, leaf lettuce, pickles, mustard and mayonnaise. It was created by three-star Michelin cook Yannick Alleno.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on AP news reports. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

sandwich - n. two piece of bread with something, such as meat, butter..., in between

hamburger - n. a flat, usually round cake of finely chopped beef that is cooked and served in a roll or bun

ham - n. meat from the leg of a pig that is often prepared by smoking or salting

butter - n. a solid yellow substance made from milk or cream

amazement - n. a feeling of being very surprised or shocked

menu - n. a list of food that may be ordered at a restaurant