Summer is Over, But Grilling Isn’t!

The Lempert Report
September 29, 2015

Don’t let the cooler weather fool you! Consumers are still headed outside to cook.

Summer may be coming to an end, but retailers take note… that doesn’t mean the end of grilling season! 

According to Acosta’s 12th edition of, “The Why? Behind The Buy”, 39% of shoppers grill all year and 61% grill at least eight months out of the year – that’s a considerable amount more grilling time compared to the just three official months of summer when most retailers promote outdoor cooking.

For supermarkets, this means there’s a lot more time and space for grilling ideas and promotions. Acosta Director Marianne Quinlan-Sacksteder told FoodNavigator; “Grilling is popular as a year-round cooking method, so food manufacturers and retailers can promote grilling items in the spring, fall and winter – beyond the traditional Memorial Day to Labor Day timeframe – and still drive sales.”

In addition, the survey revealed the most popular items for grilling, information that can help supermarkets get a sense of what consumers are interested in when it comes to grilling promotions and meal ideas.   Hamburgers were at the top of the list with 80% of grillers cooking these in the last six months, chicken came in second with 77% of respondents grilling it, followed by beef steak and hotdogs/sausages, which were each cooked by 66% of US grillers. And finally, the survey also found Americans are branching out and grilling more seafood at 31%, vegetables at 46% and fruit at10%.

Retailers should look to increase sales beyond the typical summer months and focus on other occasions where people could realistically cook outside. For example? Tailgating! Football season has just started so why not promote fall tailgating with tips and displays that highlight everything from burgers and hotdogs to beer and grilled fall vegetables. And then what about Easter? or spring family picnics?  Supermarkets should also take the opportunity to further benefit from an extended grilling season by promoting popular grilling proteins and vegetables as fast and easy meal ideas for busy families.