Consumers Hot for BBQs

Jul 12, 2002

Since barbecuing has expanded to become a lifestyle for some Americans, barbecuing equipment has become more about individuality and style than function, reports Forbes. A recent survey from promotion and marketing agency The Integer Group found that 61 percent of men surveyed show off their barbecue as a source of pride.

Americans are willing to spend massive amounts of money on increasingly outlandish barbecue equipment and accessories. An estimated 76 percent of all U.S. households own a grill, and many more own more than one grill (the average barbecue owner has 1.4 grills) according to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.

Of the estimated 375 barbecue contests in the U.S., some have monetary awards as high as $50,000. Many governing barbecue bodies abound such as the California Barbecue Association, the American Barbecue Association, The New England BBQ Society, The Kansas City Barbecue Society, Memphis-In-May and International Barbecue Cookers Association. Outside the U.S., there’s The World Barbecue Association, which has the ambitious goal of world peace through barbecuing. The organization’s mission statement is to “Make people happy with fire, food and fun.” And barbecue enthusiasts even have their own monthly publication, National Barbecue News. As all good BBQ institutions, it’s a family affair.

Moderator Comment: How can retailers generate incremental sales and profits by targeting BBQ enthusiasts and wanna-be’s?

Almost nothing smells better than food on the grill. Throw a parking lot party for charity, create BBQ demonstrations in-store, get everything BBQ from grills, charcoal, accessories, apparel, food, beverages, publications, videos etc. and create a BBQ central headquarters. Bring the BBQ experience to consumers. Don’t make them search the aisles looking for it. If food stores did this, (at least part of the year) they’d have more male shoppers than Home Depot. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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