7 Sizzling Insights into the Grilling & Barbecue Scene [Survey]
At-home, outdoor grilling is really on fire these days.
According to the 2015 State of the Barbecue Industry Report published by the HPBA, 2016 is set to be a strong year for the grilling industry:
- 37% of U.S. adults plan to buy a new grill or smoker in 2016
- 30% of current owners plan to use their grill or smoker more frequently
- 76% of Americans will grill for the Fourth of July holiday and 62% for Memorial Day
To make the most of their backyard barbecues, Americans will stock up on a wide range of products—from beer to barbecue sauce, chips to patio furniture. In this way, grilling is an activity affecting many brands across many industries.
What Do Americans Buy for Their Summer Grilling, BBQs?
This weekend, Field Agent surveyed—you might say we grilled—300 U.S. adults from 42 different states about their barbecue purchases and brand preferences. As the pictures suggest, respondents were required to qualify for participation by submitting a photo of their outdoor grill.
Below we share the real meat from these findings, as we present 7 sizzling insights:
1. Mass merchandisers and home improvement centers feast on grillers’ dollars
Where do Americans purchase their non-food, outdoor grilling equipment and supplies from (e.g., grills, utensils, lighter fluid, charcoal)? At 78%, mass merchandisers received the most favor from grillers in our survey, followed by home improvement centers (69%), grocery stores (42%), and wholesale clubs (31%).
By specific retailer, Walmart outperformed all others. The chart depicts the top retailers for non-food grilling supplies.
2. Consumers look to the BIG 3—online reviews, word-of-mouth, and point-of-purchase—for info about grilling products
An important question to companies in the grilling industry: When purchasing non-food, outdoor grilling products, where do shoppers acquire the information that ultimately influences their purchases?
58% of grillers surveyed said they read online product reviews, while 57% ask family and/or friends. The point-of-purchase is also critical, respondents told us. At 50% and 47% respectively, product packaging and in-store displays/kiosks made strong showings.
3. Put another shrimp, er, hamburger, chicken breast, hot dog, or steak on the barbie
On the question of what Americans grill during the summer months, there were few surprises—at the top of the list anyway. Grillers most prefer, they told us, hamburgers (94%), chicken (93%), hot dogs (92%), and steaks (91%).
Of 22 total options, the chart displays the 12 most commonly grilled foods according to our survey:
4. Americans wash it all down with water, soda, and beer
This summer, if you were to visit the backyard barbecues of those in our survey, you’d frequently be offered water (85%) and/or soda (84%) to drink—the most prevalent beverages in our survey. Rounding out the top 5, beer (65%), iced tea (60%), and lemonade (57%) are also served by a majority of respondents.
5. Grilling is often a spirited affair, with beer, mixed drinks, and frozen alcoholic beverages
In our survey, 44% of grillers said they always or often enjoy alcohol alongside grilled foods. In fact, among those surveyed, 71% at least sometimes serve alcohol.
As seen, beer (65%) is the most commonly served alcoholic beverage on the American grilling scene. Yet 37% also said they partake in mixed alcoholic beverages/cocktails when grilling out, and 23% enjoy frozen alcoholic beverages such as daiquiris.
6. Grillers chip away, with potato chips more prevalent at barbecues than tortilla chips
We asked our survey of 300 to tell us how often they serve both potato and tortilla chips when grilling at home in the summer. Potato chips were most common—by quite a margin. In all, 64% said they always or often serve potato chips, while 91% do so at least sometimes.
Compare this with tortilla chips, which only 31% serve always or often. However, a very respectable 73% reported serving tortilla chips at least sometimes.
7. Great Value, Ball Park, Pepperidge Farm, and Sara Lee have the best buns, grillers say
As seen, grillers often think inside the bun—commonly serving up hamburgers, chicken, hot dogs, and, in general, bunable foods. So which buns are crowd favorites among grillers?
Walmart’s Great Value (29%) brand performed best in our survey, though Ball Park (25%), Pepperidge Farm (23%), and Sara Lee (22%) weren't far behind.
Yet only a minority of grillers surveyed is loyal to one brand of buns. While 32% said they either always or usually buy the same brand, 24% said they switch between two or more brands, and fully 42% “just buy whatever is available.”
Special Report: 2019 Lawn & Garden Report
Are you ready for this year's Lawn & Garden shoppers? We asked over 1,000 homeowners across the country a series of questions, including:
- What lawn and garden activities do you expect to engage in this spring?
- How much do you anticipate spending on lawn and garden supplies this year?
- From what type of retailer do you expect to purchase most of your supplies?
- How likely are you to purchase these materials online?
- What matters most when purchasing lawn and garden supplies?
- What do you most dislike about shopping for lawn and garden products?
Download Field Agent’s 2019 Lawn & Garden Report for the answers to these and other questions. Now available for free download!