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Most Canadians barbecue multiple times a week in the summer: Survey

Majority say rising food prices are influencing their grilling preferences
Jillian Morgan, female, digital editor for Canadian Grocer
burgers on a grill
Hamburgers and hot dogs are Canadians’ favourite BBQ foods.

Barbecue season is back, but the cost of food could influence what Canadians are grilling this summer. 

Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab, in partnership with Caddle, surveyed 9,146 Canadians about their BBQ choices and equipment.

Forty two per cent of respondents said they BBQ multiple times a week in the summer months. Only 5.5% fire up the grill every day, and 21% do so several times a month.

READ: Food and beverage trends that could get sales sizzling this summer

Hamburgers and hot dogs are Canadians’ favourite BBQ foods (37%), followed by various beef steaks (29%) and chicken pieces (17%).

Other BBQ options like pork chops, vegetables, chicken wings, and pork ribs are less common, with each category garnering between 2% and 4.5%. 

Less frequent choices include salmon, pizza and other fish, each preferred by less than 1.5% of those surveyed.

Fifty four per cent of Canadians said rising food prices have influenced what they cook on their BBQ. Conversely, 46% of participants report that the cost of food has not changed their outdoor cooking habits.

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Seventy two per cent of Canadians have a BBQ at home or have regular access to one. 

The vast majority of respondents (87%) have either a gas or propane grill or both, and 18% still use a charcoal grill. Eight per cent use a smoker, and 4% of Canadians have a pizza oven at home.

As for why respondents like to BBQ, the majority (54.5%) cited the unique flavour achieved through grilling. Forty eight per cent said they cook outside to keep heat out of the home, while 44% enjoy the outdoor cooking experience. 

The social aspects of BBQing are important for 19% of respondents, while helping with more dinners and mastering fire control appeal to 12.5%.

Recipes and techniques from BBQ manufacturers are influential for 15% of participants, while more recipes from food brands would motivate 12%.

Social media also plays a role, with 8% influenced by inspiration videos on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and 7% by "How To" videos on YouTube. In-person and in-store demonstrations are less influential, appealing to 6% and 5%, respectively. 

"54% of Canadians who BBQ have altered their BBQ menus due to increasing food prices. This change underscores the significant economic considerations Canadian households must make regarding their food choices, directly reflecting the impact of food price inflation on everyday culinary practices,”  Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab, said in a release. 

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