Year-round grilling on the rise

by Staff
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PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — More and more Americans are grilling year round and not just during the summer, according to market research company The NPD Group.

"While summer still accounts for the highest consumption levels of grilled food, grilling has increased the most in the other seasons of the year," said Harry Balzer, vice-president of NPD and author of the report "Eating Patterns in America."

Specifically, outdoor grill use is nearly double what it was 20 years ago. In 1985, 17% of homes used a grill at least once during an average two-week period throughout the year, and this number rose to 38% in 2007.

"Grills and other outdoor living products continue to be a bright spot in an otherwise challenging market," said Mark Delaney, director of NPD’s home industry sector. "There’s a BBQ grill designed to fit the needs and budget of every consumer, helping to make this category the most popular outdoor entertaining item owned."

Today, 76% of households have an outdoor grill, and 75% of grill owners have a gas grill. The rise in grilling also may be attributed to an increasing number of men cooking at home. NPD found 41% of men said they always do the grilling, and only 17% of women said they always do the grilling.

"There is no doubt we are a nation of grillers," Mr. Balzer said. "It’s convenient, saves time, tastes good, and perhaps most important to women, the man does it."

The top 10 grilled foods are burgers, steak, chicken, hot dogs, pork chops, potatoes, vegetables, other pork cuts, sausage and seafood.

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