2006 wasn't just a big year for barbecue grills in the U.S. It was the biggest year ever.
More barbecue grills were shipped in 2006 in the U.S. than in any previous year, according to results released by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA). The trade association said a record 17,272,500 grills were shipped in 2006, which is a 15.24-percent increase over 2005. HPBA said it was the fastest growth rate since it began measuring grill shipments in 1985.
Gas grills continue to outsell charcoal grills, holding on to 58 percent of the market. Charcoal grills have 40 percent. Electric grills have just 2 percent of the market.
Both gas and charcoal grill shipments increased in 2006. Charcoal grew faster, at 19 percent, compared to gas grills' 13 percent.
In the charcoal grill category, "covered stand-up" grills continue to be the most popular, with almost 50 percent of the category. Among gas grills, "LP stand-up" models had 65.6 percent, while "LP tabletop had just 24.7 percent. However, tabletop versions increased their share in the category by 6 points, while stand-ups fell 5 points.
In the electric category, smokers were at 41.4 percent, outranking tabletop models at 37.9 percent.
Built-in gas grill shipments increased 6 percent over 2005. These units are relatively new to the market and considered high-end at an average of U.S. $600 each.
HPBA President Jack Goldman sees the numbers as a reflection of the new outdoor living trend. He calls grilling "part of the casual American lifestyle."
The diversity of barbecue products may also have a lot to do with 2006's hot shipment numbers, with new and innovative grill features on the market that were unimagined a decade ago.
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