2023 State of the Barbecue Industry > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
March 12, 2023

2023 State of the Barbecue Industry

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association Finds Year-Round Grilling Trending High


Our love affair with backyard grilling continues onward as research from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) finds home cooks’ passion for cooking outdoors is likely at an all-time high.


Even more impactful, grilling just isn’t for summer weekends anymore, as HPBA data shows increases in breakfast and winter backyard grilling.


As the nation’s grill manufacturers, distributors and retailers convene in Louisville, Ky., this weekend for the 2023 Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo, HPBA shares its most recent research on the 2023 State of the Barbecue Industry.


Among its key findings:


  • 80% of all homeowners and 70% of all households in the U.S. own at least a grill or smoker, matching the highest percentage in the study’s history, up from 64% household ownership in 2019. In Canada, 70% of households own a grill.

  • 38% of all grill owners purchased a new grill since the beginning of the pandemic.

  • Grilling isn’t just for dinner anymore. In recent years, 12% grilled for brunch and 7% for breakfast, showing that consumers expanded their grilling expertise while being at home more.

  • One of the busiest days of the year for purchasing new grills is the Saturday before Memorial Day, also known as “Back to Barbecue Day,” May 27

  • The most popular grilling day of the year continues to be Fourth of July, when 54% of owners grilled out; other popular summer grilling occasions:

    • Memorial Day (44%)

    • Father’s Day (34%)

    • Labor Day (47%)

  • Fall and winter grilling has increased in recent years:

    • 20% of grill owners cooked out on Thanksgiving

    • Christmas or Hanukkah (11%)

    • New Year’s Day (14%)

    • Super Bowl (30%)

    • Valentine’s Day (14%)

  • Despite shifts in when and how much people are grilling and with whom, the top five reasons for grilling have remain unchanged since the most recent study:

    • 57% of owners did it for the flavor

    • 40% for the lifestyle

    • 33% for entertainment

    • 29% for the convenience

    • 23% see it as a hobby


Beyond its most recent survey, HPBA’s additional observations on the State of Barbecue include:


  • Inflation will continue to put the squeeze on all our food purchases in the year ahead. But rather than give up the grill, home cooks will lean into more affordable grilling options, such as veggies – particularly bulky meal extenders like potatoes, onions and mushrooms – as well as more filling yet affordable foods such whole grains and legumes.

  • Backyard grills are no exception to the explosion of interest in global flavors such as Asian, Indian, Latin and African cuisine already trending in restaurants and home kitchens. Whether it’s going full on international foods or incorporating global spices and chiles into standard American fare, our palates will expand in the year ahead.

  • A desire for healthier proteins in the indoor kitchen has moved into the outdoor kitchen as grillers will continue to sizzle up shrimp, salmon, scallops and other foods from the sea. In fact, even in landlocked states like Missouri, recent HPBA research found lobster was the fastest trending food found on the grill.

  • Social media chatter has increased awareness of grill cleaning and care for consumers. Consumers are fascinated by autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos showcasing creators cleaning and caring for their grilling equipment.

  • Grill manufacturers continue to create complementary products and accessories that ease the grilling process. For example, some high-end grills are being produced with pizza ovens and self-cleaning equipment, according to a study done by IBIS World.


The HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report was conducted online via Rockbridge Associates Inc. in September 2021. Rockbridge conducted a 15-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 +/- 2%, 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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