Tailgate Grillers Go Gourmet
By Tom Ryan
According to a survey by grill maker Weber, 22 percent of tailgaters consider themselves to be “gourmet” food grillers
while 28 percent consider themselves “between a gourmet and a basics” griller.
survey found “basics” tailgate grillers spend an average of
$441 in groceries per year for their parking lot parties while “gourmet” tailgaters
spend an average of $1,001. That equals out to $106 per tailgate for the basics
group versus $165 among the gourmets. Gourmet grillers’ tailgates host an
average of 20 people per party versus 14 for basics grillers.
Chicken (43 percent)
tops the list of gourmet grillers’ favorite foods, followed by ribs (39 percent),
bratwurst (37 percent), and steak (33 percent). Basic grillers list hamburgers
(70 percent), bratwurst (45 percent), chicken (42 percent), and hot dogs (42
percent). Gourmet grillers are also more likely than basic grillers to use
skewers (62 percent versus 40 percent), wood chips (49 percent compared to
30 percent), and a meat thermometer (45 percent vs. 29 percent.)
from the survey:
- Overall, 12.5 percent of Americans over age 18 have tailgated in the last
12 months, attending an average of 3.4 tailgates each. Those ages 24-34
are more likely to tailgate (19 percent), followed by those ages 18-24 (17
percent), and 35-44 (16 percent).
- When asked how they’ve changed their tailgate grilling style in the last
year, 35 percent of respondents said they’re getting “more adventurous” in
their parking lot party food choices. Forty percent report they’re grilling
more vegetables; more sides (40 percent); leaner meats (35 percent), more
poultry (28 percent); and more fish (19 percent).
- Two-thirds of all U.S. tailgate grillers bought their barbecue expressly
for their parking lot parties, up from 46 percent in a 2005 survey.
- Regarding new media, 49 percent report using smart phones when tailgating;
48 percent report using grilling/food/recipe apps; and 47 percent report
using laptop computers while tailgating.
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the gourmet opportunity around
tailgating? What can grocers be doing to capitalize on tailgating and football-themed