America’s Love Affair With the Grill Is Year-Round

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While you might be forgiven for thinking that grills are replaced with gas fireplaces, warmed by replacement gas logs, in the cold of winter, the reality is that 60% of Americans use their outdoor grills all year round. Almost all grill owners have used their grills at least once in the last year. Barbecue occasions include birthdays (72%), the Fourth of July (83%), and Labor Day (70%).

As much as 80% of Americans own a grill or outdoor barbecue. While traditional summer holiday events like the Fourth still top the list of barbecue and grill occasions, Americans are ditching those replacement gas logs and increasingly opting for fall and winter holiday barbecues at Thanksgiving (15%), Super Bowl Sunday (31%), Easter (18%), and New Year?s Eve/Day (15%).

Gas grills are by far the most popular with over 60% opting for this type of grill. Charcoal (41%) is also popular, while electric lags behind at just 10%. This important outdoor feature takes center stage for 37% of owners who complement their large moveable grill systems with a modest patio or deck, some outdoor furniture and an informal place to eat. Most Americans (49%) view their outdoor grilling area as a functional cooking space, while 30% view it primarily as a space for entertainment, and 21% use it as a place to relax and rest.

Entertaining outdoors is equally common across all three types of grill owners, with gas and charcoal grill owners entertaining at least 12 times per year and electric grill owners doing so 11 times a year. THe key decision drivers for grill owners are an easy ignition system (49%), large grilling surface (39%), ease of cleaning (35%), quality of construction (32% and ability to heat up quickly (29%). Interestingly color was also a decisive factor, with 42% of gas grill owners and 34% of charcoal grill owners citing is as an important feature.

Demand for outdoor furniture and grill items (including patio heaters and accessories such as umbrellas, covers, cushions, and grilling utensils) is due to grow by as much as 4% a year through 2017. In fact, the 2015 Outdoor Furniture Trend Report indicated that more than 80% of households are planning to purchase some kind of outdoor furniture or accessories this year. This represents a 62% increase over 2014.

So just because it is chilly, don’t rush out to buy that replacement gas log just yet. Put out the patio furniture (and perhaps a patio heater, too), light up the grill and enjoy the experience of that perfect winter barbecue.

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