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2011 State of the Barbecue Industry Report

2011 State of the Barbecue Industry Report

Sales Re-ignite in 2010

In 2010, more than 15 million grills and smokers shipped in North America, a slight increase (0.5%) overall from 2009. Gas grills continue to top the charts as the most popular type of grill, followed by charcoal and then electric.

  • Total Gas Grills Shipments (57 percent of sales) – 8,553,500
  • Total Charcoal Grills Shipments (41 percent of sales) – 6,232,500
  • Total Electric Grills Shipments (2 percent of sales) – 276,600

Barbecue Behaviors

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) has conducted the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study* on a biennial basis since 1983. The following is select information from the most recent (2009) North American barbecue study:

Grill Usage

  • Eighty-two percent of North American households own a grill or smoker.
  • The majority of grill owners use their grills year-round (56 percent).
  • Traditional summer holidays top the list of the most popular grilling holidays: the Fourth of July (71 percent), Memorial Day (57 percent), Labor Day (55 percent) and even Father’s Day (47 percent).
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of grill owners see their outdoor grilling area as a functional cooking area of their home, while more than one-fourth (28 percent) see it as a place to rest and relax.
  • Forty percent of consumers have a large moveable grill system on a modest patio/deck, with some outdoor furniture and an informal place to eat.
  • Consumers say an easy ignition system (68 percent) and large grilling surface (55 percent) are the most important features of a gas grill, followed by durability (52 percent) and ease of cleaning (43 percent).
  • Gas grills are used on average 45 times a year and used to entertain an average of 11 times a year.  While charcoal grill owners use their grill an average of 27 times a year and entertain with their grill an average of nine times a year.
  • Nearly one-fourth (23 percent) of households own two grills.

Tasty Trends

  • Meats, including burgers (85 percent), steak (80 percent), hot dogs (79 percent), and chicken (73 percent) top the list of the most popular foods prepared using a grill – followed by sausage/bratwurst (55 percent), ribs (53 percent) and pork chops (50 percent).
  • Potatoes and corn tie as the most popular vegetables to cook on the grill.
  • Most common reasons to cook on a gas grill include: prefer the taste (58 percent), enjoy cooking outdoors (51 percent), ease and convenience (50 percent) and for entertainment (37 percent).
  • Reasons to cook on a charcoal grill also include taste preference as the main reason (77 percent), followed by enjoyment of cooking outdoors (46 percent), to entertain (35 percent), its inexpense (32 percent) and because it is easier and more convenient (30 percent).
  • One-third (33 percent) of consumers agree that food cooked on the grill is healthier than food cooked in the kitchen, while 63 percent view it as just as healthy.
  • Eighty-three percent of consumers who cook on a charcoal grill use barbecue sauce for basting during cooking and over half (52 percent) normally use marinades.
  • Dry meat rubs are popular among consumers. In fact, dry rub usage has increased among charcoal grill owners to 44 percent in 2009, up from 36 percent in 2007.

Tailgating

  • Charcoal grills are used more often when tailgating (76 percent) compared to gas (20 percent) and electric (4 percent).
  • Football leads the way for the event tailgated at most often (52 percent); followed by outdoor concerts (12 percent) and car racing events (12 percent).  Trailing behind are baseball (7 percent) and children’s events (3 percent).

Household Roles

  • It’s most often the male head of the household who makes the decision to purchase a grill (67 percent) compared to the female head (30 percent).
  • When it comes to cooking on charcoal grills, the male head normally makes the decision to cook (59 percent), lights the grill (71 percent) and does the cooking (67 percent).
  • When it comes to cooking on gas grills, it’s also most often the male head who makes the decision to cook (58 percent), lights the grill (71 percent) and does the cooking (69 percent).
  • Whether male or female, the primary grillers in the majority of households consider themselves to be average or above in terms of cooking skills.

About the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study: This research was conducted online via the The Stephenson Company in July 2009 with an initial sample size of 69,000. The sample size included households assembled to be representative of the latest North American census data in terms of geography, age of head of household, market size, annual household income and household size. All respondents are 18+ years old.

*Use of findings from the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study should be credited to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.

About the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA): The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based in Arlington, Va., is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms and allied associates for all types of hearth, barbecue and patio appliances, fuels and accessories. The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education. There are more than 2,600 members.

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