PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.–Outdoor grill use has reached an all-time high and is now a year-round activity for a growing number of Americans, according to new research from the NPD Group.
From 1998 to 2007, according to the survey data, the percentage of U.S. households that used their outdoor grills at least once in an average two-week period throughout the year rose from 31.7 percent to 38.2 percent. That percentage was more than double the portion of U.S. households that grilled that frequently in 1985. Summer remains the time of year in which most grilling takes place, but the percentage of U.S. households that grilled at least once in a typical two-week period during the spring, fall and winter rose markedly from 1998 to 2007.
Harry Balzer, NPD vice president and author of the company’s report, “Eating in America,” said the jump in year-round grilling coincides with the increased ownership of gas grills. Seventy-six percent of U.S. households now have an outdoor grill, and 75 percent of these grills are gas grills, according to NPD’s numbers. In addition, the rise in grilling stems from the rising number of men who cook at home, Balzer said.