2023's Top 20 BBQ Facts

The top facts you need to know to become a Better BBQ’er this summer!

Press/Media Info. You’re welcome to use any of the facts contained here, but please credit the 27th National BBQ Week; Thanks!

BBQ Fact 1

As a continuing result of the Cost-of-Living crisis, BBQ & at-home eating & entertaining has remained the UK’s No1 summer home leisure activity, with three out of four households now owning some type of BBQ grill!

BBQ Fact 2

In 2022 the UK once again became, despite not being in the EU, the leading BBQ European nation, beating Germany into second place and hosting around 168 million Barbi’s, with 12 million being held over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations alone.

However, this year, for King Charles 3rd Coronation weekend celebrations in early May and despite somewhat damp weather, it is estimated that, with a combination of at-home and street-parties that there were around 9.8 million BBQ occasions held.

BBQ Fact 3

The average number of BBQ’s held per family during the summer has risen sharply from around 2.5 around ten years ago, and very, much influenced by the Covid Lockdown and Cost-of-Living  crisis, to over 10 now!

BBQ Fact 4

The overall BBQ & alfresco eating & entertaining market in 2022 was worth around £2.3 billion, up from £150 million in 1997.

BBQ Fact 5

Although BBQ & alfresco eating has now become a standard alternative summer meal format with nearly half the population now considering it as normal to BBQ or eat outside during the summer. However paradoxically and perhaps as a continuing hangover from the Lockdown, alfresco eating occasions are still perceived to be somewhat of an indulgence or treat, with 35% likening BBQ to a dinner party in terms of entertainment value!

BBQ Fact 6

Despite the recent Covid pandemic and current Cost-of-Living crisis, many consumers are now indulging themselves as a way of ‘lightening the load’ and will now spend around £40 on food and drink for a family & friends BBQ, up from £16 just five years ago!

BBQ Fact 7

Vegetarian or vegan options are becoming increasingly popular on the Barbi in line with the continuing trend towards more meat-free meals, with a flexitarian offer being adopted by many consumers in the choice of barbecued food. It is estimated that around 30% of all BBQs in 2022 contained a primary vegetarian or plant base. As far as BBQ drinks, wine & beer remain, by far the most popular being consumed at over 50% of all BBQ occasions.

BBQ Fact 8

Over the last few years there has been a clear Gastro Grilling move, the ‘sausage to swordfish and burger to brochette’ evolution in the style and type of food cooked at a BBQ. However, Chicken at 20% still retains its position as the favourite BBQ food, followed by burgers 19%, whilst sausages have slipped to 15%, with kebabs rising to 12% and steak steady at 11%, fish has also increased to 9%, whilst lamb and pork share 6%. Vegetables are the biggest risers increasing by 45% to 20%

BBQ Fact 9

US Style Lo&Slo has become very fashionable with pulled pork being especially popular. Hot and spicy food regions such as South African, the Caribbean, Mexico, North African and Southern US styles such as Cajun & Creole and South American styles, are also becoming more popular on the Barbi as are Japanese Hibachi styles.

BBQ Fact 10

20% of all households now have 2 BBQ grills and 8% 3 or more. Traditional US ‘smoker’ BBQs are becoming more popular and are now in 3.5% of all homes. 7% of all households now have some form of outdoor kitchen.

BBQ Fact 11

Probably as a result of the Covid lockdowns and the Cost-of-Living crisis, BBQ and alfresco eating & entertaining has remained as a fashionable and cheaper alternative to a visit to the local pub or restaurant, despite the easing of Lockdown restrictions.

BBQ Fact 12

Standard pre-planned BBQs are changing fast, as lifestyles become more casual. Down from 70% in 2005 to fewer than 25% in 2022.

BBQ Fact 13

Charcoal remains a very popular BBQ choice but despite this and in line with the trend towards more traditional and slower BBQ styles is seeing some resurgence and now stands at 43% up from 37% two years ago. However Gas remains the most popular at 47%.

BBQ Fact 14

Hooded BBQs are now the most popular, accounting for 60% of all sales followed by flat-bed grills with smokers, ceramic egg and plancha grills growing fast. External pizza ovens, whether standalone or BBQ add-ons have also grown in popularity.

BBQ Fact 15

As many people are still working from home, the dynamics of after-work BBQ’s have changed with around 30% of BBQ’s now being mid-week. However weekend Barbi’s are still the most popular for over 73% of all BBQ occasions, although this down from a high of 75% in 2020.

BBQ Fact 16

Once male dominated, BBQs are now becoming much more equal with women accounting for an equal 50% of all grilling occasion in 2022, and although men still acoount for 50% this is down 4% from 2020.

BBQ Fact 17

Couples are 4 times more likely to host a BBQ than singles, only 4% of pensioners are likely to have a Barbi. 8% of adults claim to have found love over the coals!

BBQ Fact 18

Both Americans and Australians love to Barbi with 3 out of 4 households owning a grill and using it on average at least 5 times a month.

BBQ Fact 19

Due to a combination of the Lockdown, the Cost-of-Living crisis and increased working from home 35% of men and 34% of women now attend between 9-10 BBQ’s a year.

BBQ Fact 20

Apart from summer, 25% of us now have BBQ’s during the spring, with a record high of 11 million BBQ’s being held over the 2021 Easter Lockdown holidays and 10.5 million in 2022, with a further 5% claiming to BBQ all year-round. Allegedly around 186k people also claim to have BBQ’ed their Christmas dinner!