2017 State of the Barbecue Industry: HPBA’s Consumer Survey Reveals Grilling and Barbecuing Is a Growing, Year-Round Lifestyle > Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA)
July 25, 2017

2017 State of the Barbecue Industry: HPBA’s Consumer Survey Reveals Grilling and Barbecuing Is a Growing, Year-Round Lifestyle

Arlington, Va. – The barbecue industry will continue to see business heat up year-round, according to the 2017 consumer survey commissioned by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). Nearly one-third of consumers (29%) plan to use their grill or smoker more often this year. 

Summer holiday weekends continue to spark the highest usage with consumers: 73% of consumers grill on July 4, 60% on Memorial Day, 58% on Labor Day, and 45% on Father's Day. Spring holidays are also key grilling weekends for many consumers: Mother's Day (34%) and Easter (19%). 

The survey also finds that grilling is becoming a year-round passion. Chilly temperatures don’t stop many consumers from grilling for the Super Bowl (23%), Thanksgiving (14%), Christmas or Chanukah (10%), and New Year's Eve/Day (9%). Beyond holidays, 49% barbecued for birthday parties, 24% on a camping trip, 21% at a vacation home party, and 11% during tailgating activities for sporting events.

“Barbecuing is no longer just a pastime, but an integral part of the North American lifestyle," said Jack Goldman, president and CEO, HPBA. "We expect consumers' passion for flavorful food and entertaining their family and friends to continue to increase for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. The future for the barbecue industry looks bright."

Flavor (72%), lifestyle (52%), and entertainment (40%) were the top reasons the study found that consumers grill. Next in line were convenience (33%), hobby (19%), flexibility (18%), and health (18%).

Ownership & Future Purchases

Highlights from the study on ownership and purchase intent trends include:

  • Seven in 10 U.S. adults own a grill or smoker, and in Canada, ownership is 8 in 10.

  • More than a third (35%) of U.S. adults plan to purchase a new grill or smoker in 2017.

  • Gas is the most popular grill type (64%), followed by charcoal (44%), then electric (9%).

  • Wood pellet grill ownership is currently 3%, but 11% of the prospective buyers plan to purchase one in the coming year. 

  • Adding fireplaces and heaters to outdoor kitchens (1 in 10 consumers) is a growing trend.

  • 56% of grills were purchased as replacements, while 29% were first time purchases.

  • The majority of consumers (83%) have three or more accessories, indicating that consumers have invested in ways to customize their grilling experiences. 

The HPBA State of the Barbecue Industry Report was conducted online via Rockbridge Associates Inc. in April and May 2017. Rockbridge conducted a 20-minute online survey with 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 percentage points, and the consumer sample was representative of the U.S. and Canadian populations respectively. In 2015, HPBA updated its questions and sampling from previous biennial surveys, and therefore cannot compare to previous reports. 

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), based just outside of Washington, DC, is the North American industry association for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, representatives, service firms, and allied associates for all types of fireplace, stove, heater, barbecue, and outdoor living appliances and accessories. HPBA provides professional member services and industry support in government relations, events, market research, education, certifications, consumer education, and industry promotion.


Media Contact: Eric Davis, Harvest PR & Marketing, 612.424.7545, eric@Harvest-PR.com




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