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2015 State of the Barbecue Industry Report

2015 State of the Barbecue Industry Report:

Survey Reveals High Consumer Interest in Purchasing New Grills and Exploring New 

Barbecuing Techniques in 2016

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Arlington, Va. (Dec. 2, 2015) – The barbecue industry will be sizzling in 2016, according to a new survey commissioned by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) that reveals consumers plan to barbecue more as well as purchase new grills and smokers in the coming months.

More than a third (37%) of U.S. adults surveyed plan to purchase a new grill or smoker in 2016, while nearly a third (30%) of current owners plan to grill with greater frequency. Owners also plan to up their barbecuing proficiency with the purchase of a variety of specialized accessories, including pizza stones and broiling baskets. In addition, more than a third (35%) of consumers with outdoor kitchens plan to upgrade their space in the next three years.

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“Our national pastime for gathering around the grill is not only strong but also showing all indications that the passion will increase in the months and years ahead,” said Jack Goldman, president and CEO, HPBA. “We think this trend owes a lot to a relatively healthy economy as well as peoples’ continued passion for culinary adventure and bringing out the flavor of their food. We are optimistic about the state and future of our industry.”
To capture consumer trends around grilling and barbecuing, HPBA biennially conducts the HPBA Barbecue Lifestyle, Usage & Attitude Study*. Following are key highlights from the 2015 study: 

Grill Usage: From Holidays to Year-Round

  • Grill owners fire it up for the holidays. Among grill owners, the most popular grilling days of the year are:
      • Fourth of July (76%) 
      • Labor Day (62%)
      • Memorial Day (62%)
      • Father’s Day (49%)
      • Mother’s Day (34%)
  • Despite the typically cool temperatures, a full 28% of owners grill for the Super Bowl, 14% cook at least part of their Thanksgiving dinner on the barbecue, and 9% grill on New Year’s Day.
  • 16% barbecue during the Easter holiday.
  • The majority of grill owners (61%) enjoy using their grill or smoker year-round. 43% cook at least once a month in the winter months. 30% plan to grill more next year than they did this year.

Outdoor Cooking Strong and Trending Up

  • Callout 375% of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. Of these owners, 45% plan to purchase a new one in the next year. 37% of all U.S. adults plan to purchase a new grill or smoker next year.
  • 62% of households that own a grill own a gas grill, followed by charcoal (53%) and electric (12%).
  • Wood pellet grill ownership appears to be on the rise: Although their current share of the market is 2%, 7% of the prospective buyers plan to purchase one in the coming year. 
  • 56% of grills were purchased as replacements, while 29% were first time purchases.
  • Nearly half of all owners own the most basic grilling accessories (cleaning brush, tongs, glove/mitts), and many plan to purchase more specialized accessories in the year ahead, such as:
      • Pizza stone (14%)
      • Fish or broiling basket (14%)
      • Cedar or other cooking planks (14%)
      • Motorized rotisserie (12%)
      • Grill woks (11%)
  • Bucking the e-commerce trend, 83% of recent grill or smoker purchases were made in-store, while 11% were made online.

Why Cook Out? For Most, It’s About the Flavor

  • By a large majority, improved flavor is the main reason owners cook with their grills and smokers (71%).
  • 54% cook for personal enjoyment, followed by entertaining family/friends (42%), convenience (32%) and hobby/experimentation (23%).
  • Beyond holidays, 55% barbecued for birthday parties, 24% on a camping trip and 14% during tailgating activities for sporting events.
  • Owners are consistently looking to learn new barbecuing skills and/or broaden their techniques. In the last 12 months:
      • 43% researched new grilling techniques or recipes to use for grilling
      • 22% researched techniques for improving food quality when grilling
      • 31% smoked or slow-cooked meat
      • 31% cooked at a location other than their home
      • 11% prepared breakfast on a grill

Outdoor Kitchens: The New Home Addition?

  • 10% of grill owners have an outdoor kitchen, featuring primarily premium grills, furniture and lighting. Of these outdoor kitchen owners, 35% are likely to upgrade in the next three years. Of these individuals who plan to upgrade:
      • 67% plan to purchase new outdoor furniture
      • 46% plan to improve their deck/patio (and/or build a new one)
      • 43% plan to improve their garden/landscaping
      • 38% plan to purchase a new premium grill or smoker

HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report

This study was conducted online via Rockbridge Associates Inc. in July and August 2015. Rockbridge conducted a 20-minute online survey with 1,145 grillers in the United States who were at least 18 and the primary griller or shared grilling responsibilities. The margin of sampling error for aggregate results is +/- 3 percentage points.

HPBA updated its questions and sampling methodology from previous biennial surveys, and therefore cannot compare results from past reports.

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 barbecue, patio and hearth appliances, fuels and accessories.  The association provides professional member services and industry support in education, statistics, government relations, marketing, advertising and consumer education.

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

 Media Contact: Eric Davis, Harvest PR & Marketing, 612.424.7545,




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