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French munching more burgers: study

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09:29 CEST+02:00
France may consider itself the culinary capital of the world but a study released on Tuesday showed the French are increasingly chowing down on that most American of meals -- the hamburger.

The study by market research firm NPD showed the French eating on average 14 hamburgers a year per person -- more than one a month -- behind only Britain in Europe, with 17 per person, for average burger consumption.

The research, based on the daily consumption habits of thousands of French participants, also showed that hamburgers were increasingly being served in traditional restaurants with table service, not just fast-food outlets.

The number of hamburgers eaten in traditional restaurants was up 17 percent in 2011 over the year before, NPD said, while overall burger consumption was up three percent.

"The development of burgers in France was obviously led by fast food," said Christine Tartanson, the head of NPD's food research division. "But the big news is the tendency for the burger to move beyond the scope of fast food."

A number of high-end Parisian restaurants are now serving hamburgers, including one with three Michelin stars that offers a burger and French fries for €42 ($51).

The study showed the other top burger-eaters in Europe were the Germans, with 12 eaten per person per year, the Spanish with eight per person per year and the Italians with five per person per year.

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