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Barbecue Industry Reveals New Products and Trends at 2013 Expo
Mar 19, 2013
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The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) said that 2012 was another strong year for the barbecue industry in North America, with shipments of grills and smokers reaching more than 14.3 million. The association said 85% of North American households own a grill or smoker, and most--62%--of grill owners use their grills year round.

The statistics were presented by HPBA at HPBExpo, which took place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, March 14-16, 2013. The expo had more than 300 exhibitors and nearly 5,000 attendees.

Leslie Wheeler, HPBA communications director, said 2013 expo offerings included restaurant quality grills, multi-functional accessories, outdoor entertaining add-ons, and easy cleaning supplies and gadgets.

The peak outdoor cooking season is May-September. Among the trends that the industry expects to see in 2013:

Restaurant Quality at Home. Grills and smokers are being offered with traditional, simple looks augmented with modern touches and finishes. Hot technology includes easy ignition and even heating distribution systems. Grills are coming with cooking surfaces such as a pizza stone, stainless steel baking racks, or fire bricks, all intended to allow consumers to get a high-quality, restaurant-style cooking experience in the backyard.

Easy Grill Cleaning. New equipment is designed to minimize grill/smoker cleaning. Among the options: cooking sheets that keep the grill marks intact while keeping the grill clean and a robotic grease-and-grime remover.

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