burgers and buns

What I learned from analyzing 746 Buns & Rolls

May 12, 2015

If you eat buns or rolls with your hot dogs, hamburgers or other BBQ treats, you are likely eating extra ingredients, including sugar.


Grill Time

Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with outdoor bbqs. Usually the protein often commands much of our attention and discussion and the buns and rolls are an after thought if that. This is a mistake.


Buns and Rolls

Hamburger, Hot Dog and BBQ Buns make up 11% of the Bread category in US Retail. The breakdown skews slightly more towards patty shapes with Hamburger and BBQ Buns making up 56% of the segment.


Types of Specific Product Buns for Sale


Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.12.33 PM



The average ingredient count for Hamburger, BBQ and Hot Dog breads is 26.


The distribution for ingredients length (y axis) and amount of products (x axis) is below:


Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.13.18 PM



There are only 3 products with 10 or less ingredients.  They are:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.14.50 PM


The two products with 45 ingredients or more are both made by Nature’s Own:

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 3.18.12 PM


Why so many Ingredients?

Turns out the answer to this question is similar to the answer to bread in general. Softness, shelf stableness and appeal.


Curious to see how Buns compare with Bread, I ran similar analysis to the ones I did for this post.


Buns have higher percentages of ingredients to avoid across the board



Other interesting ingredients that showed up in the analysis:

  • Yellow Corn Flour Shows up 16% of the Time
  • Paprika is used for Coloring 17% of the time


And just because buns are 100% whole wheat or organic, does not mean the ingredient list is clean.  In fact, many 1000% Whole Wheat products still contained HFCS and a lot of organic products listed lecithin.



Foodwise Bottom Line

Hamburger, BBQ and Hot Dog Buns are loaded with extra ingredients to preserve their shelf life and make them more appealing to buy and eat. Be very careful when buying your product, as the % of products containing our suggested ingredients to avoid in Bread is quite high.


We suggest trying the following hacks

  1. Use a lettuce leaf
  2. Go bunless
  3. Try Ezekiel products
  4. Buy fresh brioche or baguette products from your local bakery


Happy Grilling!


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.