Catering to Grilling Enthusiasts can Fire Up Slow Sales

Posted: January 25, 2024
Category: Spotlight on Business

Selling gets easier when products are in high demand from customers. Grills are an ideal niche business that attracts loyal grilling enthusiasts who are eager to entertain family and friends. The $4.9 billion category continues to evolve and expand with the addition of specialty products and accessories. Once the domain of hearty meats, vegetables and seafood, specialty products gave foodies more ways to create meals than they thought were possible. People are now baking pizzas outdoors, frying 18-lb. turkeys, and using camping stoves to prepare meals when they’re away from home.

  • Sixty-one percent of consumers prefer gas grills (propane is the most used fuel type)
  • Forty-nine percent of people prefer charcoal or wood
  • Sales of gas grills are expected to reach $1.73 billion by 2025
  • Sales for charcoal grills are projected to hit $1.23 billion by 2025

Technology fuels global expansion
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, Weber is the industry leader for grill sales in the U.S. and the industry leader in the global market. With a twenty-three percent market share in 2022, the company sold 30 million grills in the U.S. and 50 million globally. The company’s products are sold in Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.

Grill prices run the gamut from as little as forty dollars to thousands of dollars for specialty models that use technology and apps to monitor the cooking process from start to finish. Manufacturers continue adding sizzle to assortments to keep pace with consumers’ desire for new and innovative products that reflect their lifestyles and make cooking more enjoyable.  “The need to cook more meals at home combined with new ways to create those meals helped fuel growth for almost all types of grills,” said Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor at the NPD Group.

What’s Popular with Consumers
When it comes to purchasing grills online, Blackstone holds the top spot. While the Logan, Utah-based company is relatively new—founded in 2005—sales grew 26 percent in 2022. Blackstone has tapped into the popularity of griddle and flat-top cooking by offering a range of innovative and affordable products. Introduced in 20028, the 36-in. griddle continues to be the company’s best-selling item.

Weber withstands the test of time when it comes to popularity. Always a fan favorite, the original premium kettle grill continues to shine as America’s most popular charcoal grill according to a CNN survey. Weber also wins the second most popular spot with the Genesis E-325. The company’s brand and reputation are built on delivering high-quality products that are both durable and dependable.

Traeger is the leader of the pack for pellet grills. Grilling aficionados brag about the Traeger Ironwood 885 ability to precisely manage temperatures and versatility. It covers all of the bases from convection cooking to smoking—all with the assistance of an app that ensures every meal is cooked precisely as planned.

Big Green Egg is hard to overlook. The company popularized the Kamado-style grill in this country. Few grills can beat these grills for their ability to hold heat and versatility. Cooks who like to experiment with new recipes can try their hand at smoking, grilling, pizza baking, and use the grill as an outdoor oven.

Every Season is Grilling Season
In a recent survey, 84 percent of respondents say Summer is the most likely season to fire up the grill, cooking at least one time a week. Spring was a popular second at 62 percent, with Fall coming in a strong third at fifty-seven percent. Not surprisingly, fall was almost as ideal with 57%. The most dedicated grillers, twenty-seven percent are ready and willing to brave the cold in the Winter for a great meal.

  • Seventy-five percent of the households in America own a grill
  • Twenty-five million households own two or more grills
  • Two million grills are replaced every year
  • Forty-two percent of families grill one day per week

Grilling is more than a hobby or pastime, it is an experience that millions of people use to build community with those with similar interests. Whether the conversation revolves around recipes, sauces, or food, it’s a hot topic that captivates grillers in every generation. It’s essential for small-to-medium size independent retailers to position their stores to profit from this growing market. Carry an assortment of the most popular grills and encourage customers to shop your online store for the complete selection of grills available through your co-op or wholesaler. Offer a unique assortment of grilling accessories, sauces, wood chips, or pellets. Customers will keep coming back for more.