Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May is National BBQ Month. But It's Really Every Month.

By Dru Chai

The folks over at HPBA (Hearth, Patio, and BBQ Association) have made it known to the world that May is National BBQ Month. Why May, you ask? Well, Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been the official kick-off to the summer season. But chances are, if you're reading this blog -- it really doesn't matter what month of the year it is. Every month is BBQ month, in my book!

My smoker, also affectionately known as R2D2-BBQ

Did you know? Out of 80% of American households who own a grill or smoker, 60% use their grill/smoker year-round.

Check out some of these other fun facts (according to HPBA):

Having More Than One Grill for Year-Round Cooking. In North America, nearly 40% of barbecue owners have more than one grill, with 8% owning three or more. In fact, 29% of grill purchases in 2013 were in addition to a previously owned grill.

Barbecuing for Any Holiday. Holidays continue to be a popular time for grill usage. While summer holidays like 4th of July (68%), Memorial Day (52%), Labor Day (51%) and Father's Day (45%) continue to be the most popular for outdoor cooking, holidays like Super Bowl Sundays (31%), Thanksgiving (15%) and New Year's Eve/Day (15%), saw an increase from the same study in 2011.

Food Outdoors Tastes Better Any Time of the Year. When asked why they cook on the grill, 61% of consumers said they prefer the taste of grilled food.

What to BBQ 365. With so many consumers BBQ'ing year-round, here's what they are commonly putting on the grill: hot dogs (72%), steak (71%), burgers (69%), chicken (64%), ribs (50%), sausage/bratwurst (44%), corn (44%), pork chops (43%), potatoes (39%), beef/pork roast (34%) and fish (28%).

Smoky and meaty goodness in a bun

The BBQ industry had another strong year in 2013, with shipments of grills and smokers almost reaching 14 million consumers. Gas grills (58%) continue to be the most popular, followed by charcoal (40%) and electric (2%).

If you're a BBQ and grilling enthusiast like myself, check out these materials courtesy of HPBA:

So what do I make of all this? That the BBQ industry is a multi-billion industry... that's with a "B." With record sales, the industry sure isn't showing any signs of slowing down -- and that's a good thing for everyone.