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2014 State of the Barbecue Industry Report

To capture consumer trends around grilling and barbecuing, every two years since 1983, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) conducts the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study*. Following are key highlights from the most recent 2014 study fielded in July and August of 2013: 


Reigniting the Spark: Outdoor Cooking Still Hot

  • The majority of grill owners use their grills year-round (60 percent).
  • Nearly all (97 percent) of grill owners used their grill in the past year.
  • Eighty percent of households own an outdoor barbecue, grill or smoker.
  • Sixty-one percent of households that own a grill own a gas grill, followed by charcoal (41 percent) and electric (10 percent).
  • Nearly half (45 percent) of grill purchasers bought a replacement grill, with 29 percent buying an additional grill.


Grill Usage: Consumers Loves to Grill Year-Round

  • Traditional summer holidays top the list of the most popular grilling holidays: the Fourth of July (68 percent), Memorial Day (52 percent) and Labor Day (51 percent).
  • Winter holidays saw an increase from 2011 with Super Bowl Sunday (31 percent), Easter (18 percent), Thanksgiving (15 percent) and New Year’s Eve/Day (15 percent) rounding off the top.
  • Grilling Thanksgiving meals outdoors is increasingly popular, with 15 percent of consumers cooking their meals outdoors.
  • Nearly half (49 percent) of grill owners see their outdoor grilling area as a functional cooking area of their home, while over a quarter (30 percent) see it as entertainment area and 21 percent see it as a place to rest and relax.
  • Thirty-seven 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 (49 percent) and large grilling surface (39 percent) are the most important features of a gas grill, followed by ease of cleaning (35 percent), quality of construction (32 percent) and ability to heat up quickly (29 percent).
  • Owners of gas (42 percent) and charcoal (34 percent) grills view the color of the grill as a major purchasing factor, a 38 percent increase from 2011.
  • When entertaining using a barbecue grill, gas grill owners use their grill an average of 12 times a year, electric grill owners 12 times a year and charcoal grill owners 11 times a year


Tasty Trends: It’s All About the Meat

  • This year, meats, including hot dogs (72 percent), steak (71 percent), burgers (69 percent), and chicken parts (64 percent), top the list of the most popular foods prepared using a grill.
  • Grill owners believe food cooked on their grills rather than their ovens is more healthful (38 percent), while 57 percent believe it is just as healthy.
  • Nearly three out of four consumers who cook on a gas grill (74 percent) normally use barbecue sauce for basting during cooking.
  • Dry meat rubs remain popular among consumers, with 33 percent using them more often than not.


Household Roles: Male or Female, Everybody Grills

  • The male head most often makes the decision (62 percent) to cook, lights the grill (73 percent) and cooks (68 percent) on the grill.
  • Whether male or female, nearly 78 percent of consumers cooking on the grill consider themselves to be extremely proficient or proficient in most situations.
  • Across the board, males are most likely to make the decision to purchase a grill (66 percent).


HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report

This research was conducted online via The Stevenson Company in July and August of 2013. The sample size included households assembled to be representative of the latest U.S. Census in terms of geography, age of head of household, market size, annual household income and household size. All respondents are 18+ years old.


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 2,800 members in the HPBA. 


*Use of the HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report findings should be credited to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association. Visit for additional information.



Sue Crosby        

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association          

703-522-0086, ext.116        


Reed Findlay



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