March 12, 2020

2020 State of the Barbecue Industry

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Survey Finds High Purchase Intent

as Reasons and Seasons for Grilling Expand

Arlington, VA (March 12, 2020) – As peak barbecuing season approaches, a new survey finds passion for grilling and intentions for new purchases are at near or all-time highs throughout North America. Almost two in five grill owners plan to purchase another grill in the year ahead, according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s (HPBA) biennial consumer survey.

“In both the U.S. and Canada, interest in grilling continues unabated, and our reasons and seasons for grilling continue to grow,” said Jack Goldman, president and CEO, HPBA. “We are especially pleased to see a full 37% of grill owners are looking to purchase a new grill in the near future, further demonstrating our industry’s strength and strong future.”

Among the study’s additional findings: 

  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. More than seven in 10 (72%) Canadian adults own a grill or smoker.

  • 68% of American grill owners plan to cook out on the Fourth of July. The next most popular grilling days are:

- Memorial Day (56%).

- Labor Day (56%).

- Father’s Day (42%).

- Mother’s Day (29%).

  • Year-round grilling remains highly popular:

- 75% of owners grill in the winter.

- 23% grill on Super Bowl Sunday; 13% on Thanksgiving; and 9% on New Year’s Day.

  • In addition to holidays, owners over the past year cooked out for a birthday party (45%), during a camping trip (19%), while on vacation (17%) and tailgating at a sporting event (10%).
  • Gas remains the most popular fuel, with 61% of grill owners using propane, followed by charcoal (49%), which has increased slightly since 2017 (45%).

10% of owners have an electric grill.

- 9% have natural gas grill.

- 3% have a wood pellet grill.

  • Why do people grill? 68% of owners do it for the flavor, followed by lifestyle (45%), convenience (33%), entertainment (32%) and hobby (19%).
  • Grill purchasing continues to buck the e-commerce trend, with 83% of grills purchased in-store but only 15% online.
  • One in 10 grillers have a full outdoor kitchen, and 56% of these individuals use that kitchen at least once a week.

“Since the barbecue industry started doing these types of surveys, ownership has stayed between 60 and 70%,” Goldman observed. “This is a mature market that encourages manufacturers to get creative with their offerings. Consumers are the winners in this scenario with interesting products that fit into any lifestyle.”

The HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report was conducted online via Rockbridge Associates Inc. in August. Rockbridge conducted a 14-minute online survey from a panel of grillers who were at least 18 and were either the primary griller or shared grilling responsibilities. The margin of sampling error for aggregate results is +/- 3%, and the consumer sample was representative of the U.S. and Canadian populations respectively. 


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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Media Contact: Eric Davis, FLM Harvest, 612-202-9407,

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