What you need to know

The grilling market has recovered along with the economy, and while the cyclical nature of the market results in variable year-over-year sales, unit sales of grills are forecast to reach 15.5 million by 2019 – an increase of 15% over 2014. Household penetration of grills has remained steady and there is no reason to expect ownership to fluctuate. However, ownership of the two major grill types – gas and charcoal – have fallen over the past decade as newer entrants that use alternate fuel (or dual fuel) and other speciality grills appear to have taken share.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Grilling and Barbecuing – US, March 2014, and Outdoor Barbecue – US, April 2012. It discusses how companies can maximize that growth by effectively targeting consumers. It examines topics such as:

  • Grill ownership trends;

  • Interest in specific grilling accessories;

  • Frequency of grilling by time of year, day of week, and location;

  • Plans to purchase grills;

  • Reasons for purchasing grills;

  • Loyalty toward brand, fuel type, and size;

  • Targeting grillers online; and

  • Attitudes toward grilling.

As part of this analysis, the report helps companies to better understand key demographics, such as families and homeowners. It also helps companies better understand unexpected, but equally important grilling demographics, such as urban consumers. The resulting report provides actionable insights on how to increase sales, develop relevant products, effectively create advertising campaigns, increase grill use, maximize brand loyalty, and more.


For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

This report covers household gas, charcoal, and electric grills, as well as dual-fuel gas/charcoal grills, stove-top/portable grills, outdoor fryers, and smokers. The market size and segmentation cover gas and charcoal grills. Electric grills are not included in the market size estimates. They account for about 2% of grills purchased each year (by volume).

Accessories and attachments sold separately from the barbecue grills are not included in the market size, though they are discussed throughout the body of the report.

Value figures throughout this report are at rsp (retail selling prices) excluding sales tax unless otherwise stated.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Lightspeed GMI to explore consumer consumption of/attitudes and behaviors towards grilling and barbecuing. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in December 2014 among a sample of 2,002 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly over-samples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the NHCS (Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study).The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS was carried out from August 2013 to September 2014, and the results are based on the sample of 23,668 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population.

Additional trended data from Experian Marketing Services is included from the studies below:


  • Spring 2007 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, May 2006-2007; 23,206 adults 18+;

  • Summer 2008 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2007-September 2008; 22,978 adults 18+;

  • Summer 2009 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2008-September 2009; 22,655 adults 18+;

  • Summer 2010 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2009-September 2010; 21,537 adults 18+;

  • Summer 2011 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2010-September 2011; 22,780 adults 18+;

  • Summer 2012 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, August 2011-August 2012; 22,370 adults 18+; and

  • Summer 2013 Simmons NHCS Adult Study 12-Month, July 2012-September 2013; 21,919 adults 18+.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Data sources

Sales data

  • Market Size and Forecast and Segment Performance: Volume sales estimates are based on Experian Marketing Services Simmons NCS Adult Study; forecast developed by Mintel.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report:

BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CPM Cost per thousand impressions
CRM Customer relationship management
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GNPD Global New Products Database
HH Household
HPBA Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association
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Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II /Swing generation Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 83 or older in 2015. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 70-82 in 2015.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Gen Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2015, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2015, iGens are between the ages of 8 and 20.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet unnamed generation are younger than age 8.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

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