If there’s any with item with the potential to be more American than apple pie, it’s probably BBQ. Barbecue or BBQ, has been a staple of Americana since the 19th century. Typically, BBQ grilling has been practiced during the summer, though Spring holidays have also been key BBQ grilling weekends. It has been on most major holidays, from the 4th of July to Labor Day.

As stated in an article, “A Brief History of Barbecue”, the popular practice of slowly roasting meat has been developed since the 1800s in the southern parts of the U.S. North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, and of course, Texas continue to be famous for their unique styles of BBQ. Here’s a sneak peek at some of BBQ grill stats and predictions for this important industry.

BBQ Grilling Stats

Plating to-go BBQ at the restaurant.

About 7 out of 10 U.S. adults possess a smoker or a grill, while in Canada, the ratio is 8 out of 10. (Barbecue News Magazine)

75% of owners grill during the winter months. (GlobeNewsWire)

Among grill owners, gas continues to be the preferred fuel with 61% using propane, next is charcoal with 49%, followed by the electric grill with 10%, while 9% use the natural gas grill and 3% use wood pellet grills. (GlobeNewsWire)

The most preferred side dishes served with barbecue are potatoes, corn, and grilled vegetables. (The Smoker Broker)

Nearly 50% of Americans prefer grilled vegetables. (Statista)

In 2017, 70% of U.S. adults owned a grill. Portable barbecue grill demand rose due to increased outdoor activities. (Grand View Research)

The most popular foods on the grill are burgers with 85%, followed by steak at 80%, hot dogs at 79%, and chicken at 73%.

According to an HPBA (Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association) consumer survey in 2017, 29% or around 1/3 of consumers planned to use their grill or smoker frequently that year. (HBPA)

In 2018, 88% of Americans who attended barbecue gatherings preferred meat or steak as their choice of food at the event. (Statista)

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Despite the current pandemic, a survey among grill owners showed that 37% of them were looking forward to purchasing a new grill eventually. Manufacturers are anticipating that this number remains once stores reopen after the health crisis. (GlobeNewsWire)

In a survey conducted by HPBA last year, the following are the top reasons why people grill: (Barbecue News Magazine)

  1. Flavor – 72%
  2. Lifestyle – 52%
  3. Entertainment – 40%
  4. Convenience – 33%
  5. Health – 18%

Some people believe that BBQ was brought over by the Spaniards owing to a similar form called the “barbacoa”. Others believe it was the French who brought influence through their Caribbean colonies. Neither one of these theories was proven against the other. (The Smoker Broker)

BBQ grills nowadays come with crisper searing or infrared heating, 3 or more burners, halogen lights for night grilling, with up to 75K BTUs as well as voice-command functions. (New York Post)

Natural lump charcoal is a bit pricier than charcoal briquettes, though it burns hotter and can be reused. (Did You Know Homes)

A variety of wood is used to infuse flavor into food. Some of the popular kinds of wood used include apple, cherry, oak, pecan, maple, kiawe, guava, mesquite, and hickory. Woods that contain tar and resin are however discouraged due to the chemical taste it leaves on the food. (The Smoker Broker)

BBQ Grilling In The U.S.

BBQ plate with corn bread and mashed potatoes.

Barbecues have been a tradition in the White House since Thomas Jefferson. However, the earliest hosting of a White House barbecue was during the term of Lyndon B. Johnson which was highlighted by Texas-style barbecued ribs. (Crown Verity)

Statistical research and surveys found that 50% of American grill owners have at least the basic accessories for BBQ grilling. These accessories include tongs, cleaning brushes, and mitts among others. (Did You Know Homes)

The U.S. BBQ Grill market size was estimated to be at around $930 million last year. (IBISWorld)

U.S. grill manufacturers’ revenue rose from 2013 to 2018. Sales have surged by an average of 2.8% each year, mainly due to projections of regular purchases. (New York Post)

Americans love to barbecue in their own backyards where they can rest and relax with family and friends. Some other popular barbecue spots are campsites, public parks, as well as vacation homes. (Crown Verity)

49% of Americans older than 6 years of age usually participate in outdoor gatherings each year. This particular trend creates a promising outlook in BBQ grill sales in the coming years. (Grand View Research)

The number of BBQ and grill manufacturing in the U.S. is at 34. (IBISWorld)

In 2017, summer holidays continue to trigger high usage of BBQ grills, with figures as follows: (HBPA)

  • 73% on Independence Day
  • 60% on Memorial Day
  • 58% on Labor Day
  • 45% on Father’s Day

Spring Holidays:

  • 34% on Mother’s Day
  • 19% on Easter

In 2017, gas grills were popular among Americans with electric grills the least common. In 2016 though, pellet grills and smokers saw a surge in sales despite being less traditional than charcoal and gas-powered grills. (Statista)

Kansas City and Memphis both claim to be the barbecue capital of America. (Crown Verity)

Back in 2013, 23% of grill owners saw the grilling area as a venue to rest and relax.

Home Grill Fires (2014 – 2018 Annual Averages)

  • Gas grills were determined to be part of an average of 8,900 home fires each year. Gas grills’ leaks or breaks are thought to be the cause of this problem. (NFPA.org)
  • 5 out of 6 or 84% of home fires involving grills were gas-powered, while 12% were either charcoal or similar solid fuel. (NFPA.org)
  • July is determined to the peak month of grill fires with 18%, these involve outdoor, structure, and unclassified fires. June comes next with 15%, May with 13%, and August with 12%. (NFPA.org)

70% of American adults owned a smoker or a grill in 2017. This is somewhat the same findings 20 years ago though the difference is grill sales which have gradually increased. (New York Post)

A 2017 HPBA consumer survey found that grilling has been a year-round affair. Colder months doesn’t seem to prevent people from BBQ grilling with Super bowl leading at 23%, Thanksgiving at 14%, Hanukkah/Christmas at 10%, and New Year’s Eve/Day at 9%. Apart from holidays, people also grilled BBQ on birthday parties with 49%, camping trips at 21%, home vacation parties at 21%, and accompanying activities after sporting events at 11%. (HBPA)

BBQ Grill Global Market

Is there anything BBQ sauce isn’t good on?

In 2018, the BBQ grill global market size was at $4.79 billion registering a CAGR of 4.5% from 2019 to 2025. (Grand View Research)

The total revenue of the global BBQ grills market in 2018 reached $ 3,620.1 million. (Market.us)

In a 2017 survey conducted by HPBA among American and Canadian respondents found that 64% favored gas-powered grills, followed by charcoal with 44%, and electric with 9%. (Barbecue News Magazine)

The BBQ Grill global market value was anticipated to reach $5,654.6 million in the next 10 years, from 2019–2028 (pre-pandemic figures).

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2017 saw North America lead the global market share with 45.13% while Europe came in 2nd with 27.10% hare of the market. However, it was noted that China will continue to be a key player in the global BBQ grilling market.

In a 2020 survey by HPBA on why people grill, 68% responded because of the flavor, 45% due to lifestyle, 33% said on convenience, 32% because of entertainment, and 19% said because it’s a hobby.  (GlobeNewsWire)

The European BBQ Grill Market

  • Recovering from the past economic recession by the European economy, consumer spending has increased in the past 2 years on some non-essential items such as outdoor equipment like the grill.
  • In 2018, the European BBQ grill market amounted to $1,879.2 million. It was estimated to reach $5,978.4 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 15.9% for the forecast period of 2019 through 2026 (pre-pandemic figures). (All The Research)
  • The global and European BBQ grill market is expected to cover ground in succeeding years as the industry anticipates a deviation from gas and charcoal powered grill to electric grills. (All The Research)

According to a recent study, the global BBQ grills market is poised to hit $4,340 million in the next five years registering a 4.6% CAGR by 2024 (pre-pandemic figures), as compared to $3,310 million in 2019. (WMFJ)

Some of the key players in the global BBQ grill manufacturing industry include, and in no particular order: Creative Ceramic Technologies Inc., Weber-Stephen Products LLC, The Coleman Company Inc., Fire Magic, and Lynx Grills Inc. (IBISWorld)

In 2017, the two behemoths in the global BBQ grill manufacturing industry are Weber and Coleman with 40.83% and 8.36% market share respectively. (WMFJ)

burgers on the grill

Burgers on the grill.

Advancements in the global BBQ grilling are expected to boost the market owing to feature-rich and superbly efficient electric products which are expected to be in demand in the near future. (Fact.MR)

Compact BBQ grills such as electric BBQ grills are in demand among grill buffs living in apartments or condominium units. (Fact.MR)

The belief that grilling is one of the healthiest ways of cooking is expected to boost BBQ grill sales, according to the Barbecue Industry Association Grill (BIAG). (Fact.MR)

BBQ Trends Among Restaurants

  • Around 68% of restaurants which include BBQ on their menu provide at least a single dish served with a chicken, while pork followed with 37%. (The National Provisioner)
  • Mintel International’s Menu Insights (MMI) stated that BBQ has gradually grown in popularity among restaurants, increasing by 11% from the 4th quarter of 2016 through the 4th quarter of 2019. (The National Provisioner)
  • Boneless chicken wings are one of the menu dishes with BBQ sauces gaining popularity growing 32%, followed by chicken wings up by 13%, barbecue pizza also up by 13%, and bacon burgers by 4%. (The National Provisioner)

Leading BBQ Trends in 2020 (Pre-pandemic)

  • Regional Flavors. As regional cuisines gain popularity, so are BBQ flavors originating with a specific region. These regional flavors can be broken into micro-regions, say Memphis sauce (tomato-and-vinegar-based with a dash of sweetness), Kansas-style sauce (made sweet with molasses), and Texas-style sauce (typically spicy). (Bay Area BBQ Islands)
  • An upsurge in Smoking Trend. Chefs believe that 2020 is the year of smoked BBQ. It doesn’t only add a sensual feel with its exciting table presence, but also gives a savory taste amongst the popularity of plant-based cuisines. (Bay Area BBQ Islands)
  • Plant-Based. Today’s health-conscious lifestyle has changed the way people are choosing what they eat. More people are now shifting away from meat in favor of plant-based ingredients. This trend is seen to focus on high-grade farming which yields toxic-free and sustainable ingredients. (Bay Area BBQ Islands)

Top BBQ Grill Trends

  • Flavored Pellets. Ordinary pellets added with aroma are sure to beef up your senses each time you grill. Traeger, a known pellet grill brand, offers a unique assortment though you may also try exploring various mixes that best soothe your taste. (BBQ Chiefs)
  • Double Fuel Grills. These are not your typical wood and charcoal combination, but a fusion of two completely different fuels. Think of Outdoor BBQ Grill by Backyard Grill which uses both charcoal and gas, adding a smokey aroma to your gas grill. It’s like grilling with clean gas, with an old-school touch of a charcoal grill. (BBQ Chiefs)
  • Heat Repellent Gloves. Ordinary gloves come with risks, careless use would certainly spell danger to your precious hands. Amazon bestseller, Semboh is one such nice pair of heat resistant gloves. The Rapicca Griller BBQ Waterproof gloves also offer better protection because it comes with a longer sleeve to protect your arms as well. (BBQ Chiefs)

Choice BBQ Grilling Gadgets

  • Weber iGrill Mini. It’s a smart thermometer you could use instead of sticking around to wait for your piece of meat to cook. It’s a simply wired probe that connects to an app on your phone which lets you know when you have reached your desired temperature. It works even when you’re 150 feet away! (PCMag)
  • The Looftlighter. It’s an amazing handheld device that lights up briquettes, wood, charcoal, and practically anything you need to get grilling using superheated air. An electric outlet is necessary, though the Looftlighter comes with a 9-foot cord which lets you move around. (PCMag)
  • Grillbot. The Grillbot is a robot vacuum for your BBQ grill. Just put it on your grill, switch it on, and it’ll do the job for you. It has three motors that power its cleaning brushes and sensors to direct its movement as well as its speed, just like your friendly Robo vacuum. You don’t even have to wait around as it notifies through an alarm when the job is done. (PCMag)

Final Word

BBQ grilling is a great way to enjoy good times with friends and family. It has been embedded in American culture and around the world as well. BBQ grilling has also evolved in many ways with trends that are surely not just to make grilling continuously fun, but less complicated for the weekend griller. Outdoor BBQ grilling is here to stay.

If you’re interested in starting a BBQ catering business, check out our full inventory of BBQ smokers and trailers for sale by owner in our marketplace.

bbq grilling statistics

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