This Labor Day, two-thirds of U.S. shopper households are likely to grill outdoors during the long weekend. While the holiday marks the unofficial end to summer, consumers are not putting their grills away just yet, according to a research study from Acosta that reveals new findings about grilling “season.” The findings, from the forthcoming 12th edition of “The Why? Behind The Buy,” provide insight into the popularity of grilling as a year-round method of cooking, extending well beyond the Labor Day weekend.
Acosta’s research shows 39 percent of shoppers who grill do so during all 12 months, and 61 percent grill eight or more months each year, with Millennial and male grillers—as well as grillers with kids—grilling more frequently than total U.S. grillers. Grilling frequency also varied by region, as people in the South Central and western regions cook outdoors the most months out of the year. Surprisingly, weather was not a definitive indicator, as “colder” regions such as the Plains and Great Lakes did not have the lowest usage level of grilling.
“While most people think of grilling as a summertime activity, many forget that the fall brings football season and, thus, tailgating,” said Marianne Quinlan-Sacksteder, director at Acosta. “Additionally, although our study found hamburgers and chicken are the most commonly grilled foods, shoppers are also getting creative and grilling seafood, vegetables and fruits.”
Other findings from the report revealed:
• Thirty-nine percent of all U.S. shoppers used a grill for meal preparation in the past six months.
• The type of grill respondents used varied by region, with Northeast region grillers more likely to use gas, and more Mid-South and Southeast region grillers using charcoal.
• Significantly more grillers in the Plains and Southeast regions use smokers.
The 12th edition of “The Why? Behind The Buy” report, which publishes in mid-September, was produced with research using a nationally representative random sample of U.S. shoppers via Acosta’s proprietary ShopperF1rst online survey in spring 2015.