The Number-One Burger Of 2021, According To Sales

Data from the US Department of Agriculture has shown that Americans eat about 2.4 burgers per day (via Quartz). The US Census Bureau estimated the country's population was 332,403,650 at the start of 2022, which means as a nation, we collectively eat a staggering 797,768,760 burgers a day. While at that rate, it wouldn't even take you two weeks to get through the 15 best burgers in the U.S., you still want to be sure that the burgers you are eating are good ones, since at the USDA's rate, you'll be eating 876 of them this year.

You probably don't want to do the math on how long it would take you fry up 876 burgers in your own home, much less how long it would take you to heat up the barbeque and bring nearly 900 burgers to charcoal-grilled perfection. Fortunately, in the era of apps, delivery, and concepts like Chick-fil-A's Drive-Thru Express making drive-thru more efficient, it only takes minutes to get the burger of your dreams dripping into some napkins in your lap. And, as it turns out, a drive-thru is also where you can find America's most popular burger.

McDonald's: America's loving it

Despite claiming weak sales abroad, McDonald's has been cleaning up at home (via CNN). While the truth about how many burgers McDonald's has sold may remain something of a mystery, in 2013, USA Today estimated that the burger chain sold about 4,500 burgers a minute. Though it's not actually America's biggest fast food chain — that honor goes to Subway — McDonald's had the highest sales of any fast-food or fast-casual burger chain in the U.S. in 2021 (via QSR).

And by no narrow margin. McDonald's sales were more than four times higher than runner-up Wendy's, making no mistake that by numbers alone, the Big Mac is America's most popular burger. Although, interestingly enough, the quarter pounder with cheese is actually ranked number one on our list of the best of popular McDonald's menu items. Any way you slice it (or fry it, grill it, bake it, or what-have-you), Mickey D's is selling more burgers than anyone else in America. Whether you want to eat two and half of them a day is up to you and your cardiologist.