The Biz Of BBQ

Fast Company:

As Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of the summer grill season, looms, the industry remains red hot. Here’s a tasting platter of stats.

More than 74 million American barbecued in 2007.

Last year Americans bought roughly 900,000 tons of charcoal briquettes. Kingsford, a unit of Clorox, has about 80% market share.

According to a Web survey, most Americans decide when to take their food off the grill by cutting into it, seeing “if it looks done,” and/or “poking it with a fork.”

But 21% just “wing it.”

A record 17.4 million grills and smokers were sold in 2007.

The Natural Born Grillers of Olive Branch, Mississippi, beat out 261 teams to win $26,000 at last year’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis, Tennessee. They served a whole hog.

Holidays that get the most grills fired up: Memorial Day (69%), Labor Day (74%), and the Forth of July (86%).

The George Forman grill has sold almost 100 million units since its 1995 debut.

19% of Americans prefer to grill indoors.

People who make $100,000-plus are 7% more likely to time their barbecue and 3% more likely to use a thermometer.

In the summer, the average American grill owner spends 4.4 hours barbecuing each week.

Photo by mzacha.

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