Barbecue foods

bbqTwo in three adults ate food cooked on the barbecue in summer 2010, with some 120 million barbecue occasions fuelling estimated sales of barbecue foods of some £1.7 billion in 2010.

The market has posted healthy growth in recent years, helped by better weather, still a key driver of barbecue occasions, since the washout summer of 2007. The trend for staying in and entertaining at home instead of going out in the recession has also been a key factor supporting growth in recent years, with a positive impact from the World Cup in 2010.

The market has seen a profound shift towards al fresco eating beyond that centred on the barbecue, as consumers increasingly use the outdoor space as an “extra room” for entertaining, relaxing and eating, and take an interest in foods beyond the classic barbecue fare of burgers and sausages.

Further opportunities remain to develop premium-end barbecue foods, to appeal to some 12 million adults who disagree with the view that expensive ingredients have no place on the barbecue.

Barbecue foods positioned as quick and easy, perhaps including pre-cooked options, have potential to win over some of the seven million adults who see barbecuing as time-consuming. Indeed, a number of products globally have looked to position themselves as a quick-to-cook option for the barbecue, Barbecue dishes positioned as healthy or light stand to appeal to some seven million people who see barbecue foods as often unhealthy,including young families.

Solutions making the barbecuing ‘project’ more convenient, including both in food and in associated products, could tap into a pool of over nine million consumers who see barbecuing as a hassle.

Promoting cooking on the barbecue as a cooking method on its own right could benefit the sector by supporting more frequent usage, as currently only one in five people who eat barbecue food often use the barbecue to just cook for the family.

More exotic and stronger flavours have tended to enjoy rising popularity among UK consumers, also featuring strongly in new barbecue foods, with chilli pepper the top flavour component in 2009.