National Study Shows One Out of Five Tailgaters Are ‘Going Gourmet’

September 8, 2010

PALATINE, Ill., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ — According to the latest Weber Tailgating Study(TM), half of today’s US tailgate grillers are no longer satisfied with standard fare before the big game. An impressive 50 percent of those surveyed report that they consider themselves to be either “gourmet” food grillers or “between a gourmet and a basics” food griller (22 percent and 28 percent, respectively).

While “basics” tailgate grillers spend an average of $441 in groceries per year for their parking lot parties, “gourmet” tailgaters spend an average of $1,001–a whopping 127 percent more. This comes out to an average of $106 per tailgate for the basics group vs. $165 among the gourmets.

When it comes to favorite foods, gourmet grillers rank their favorite four parking lot foods as chicken (43 percent), ribs (39 percent), brats (37 percent), and steak (33 percent) while basics grillers rank their favorite foods as hamburgers (70 percent), brats (45 percent), chicken (42 percent), and hot dogs (42 percent). Also, basics grillers (60 percent) are more likely to mention meat as the food they would like to learn how to grill better compared to gourmet grillers (56 percent). On the flip side, gourmet grillers (51 percent) tend to cite fish and seafood items more than basics grillers (41 percent).

Additionally, gourmet grillers’ tailgates attract more people – they say they host an average of 20 people per party vs. basics grillers saying they host an average of 14. Gourmet tailgate grillers also are more likely to take a full-size grill to cook their feasts at the game (46 percent) compared to basics grillers (24 percent) and those who rank themselves as falling in between the two styles (33 percent).

While the 2010 Weber Tailgating Study revealed that the favorite grilling accessories overall among parking lot cooks remain the same as shown from the last Study in 2008–a set of tongs (90%), a spatula (77%), and a grill brush (70%)–gourmet tailgate grillers today have a higher likelihood of using more specialized accessories. These include skewers (gourmet at 62 percent vs. basics at 40 percent), wood chips (49 percent compared to 30 percent), or a meat thermometer (45 percent vs. 29 percent).

Increasing Role of New Media Technology

New media technology now plays a bigger role in tailgating for more than one-third of U.S. tailgaters (36 percent) compared to their use of it five years ago. Of these respondents, almost one-half report using smart phones at 49 percent; 48 percent report using grilling/food/recipe apps; and 47 percent report using laptop computers while tailgating. Those under age 35 are most likely to use more technology than they did five years ago at their tailgates at 45 percent; 29 percent of those 55 and older report their tailgate never involved technology.

More Weber Tailgating Study Headlines

  • Who tailgates? 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 those ages 18-24 (17 percent), and then those ages 35-44 (16 percent).
  • Buying grills specifically for tailgating is still on the rise. Overall, two-thirds of all U.S. tailgate grillers bought their barbecue expressly for their parking lot parties (66 percent). This figure is up significantly from 2005′s 46 percent.
  • When it comes to the grill or smoker type used at tailgates, charcoal still rules at 58 percent, followed by gas (48 percent), smokers (10 percent), and electric (seven percent).
  • When asked how they’ve changed their tailgate grilling style in the last year, an overall 35 percent of respondents say 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).


The Weber Tailgating Study is the nation’s most comprehensive report that reveals why, how, when and where Americans tailgate. Weber commissioned third-party research firms KeyStat Marketing, Inc. and Synovate to electronically survey 1,006 Americans (503 males and 503 females) who tailgate. All respondents were over 18 years old and attended a minimum of two tailgate parties during the last 12 months. The sample is representative of the general population based on household data from the US Census Bureau.

About Weber

Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the world’s premier manufacturer of charcoal and gas grills, grilling accessories and other outdoor room products. In 1952, founder George Stephen sparked a backyard revolution with his invention of the Weber® kettle. More than 50 years later, the family-owned company remains the industry leader with its Weber®, Weber® Q(TM), and Ducane® brands. As a leading exporter of grills, Weber brand products are sold worldwide at select home centers, hardware stores, department stores, patio stores, and other retail outlets. Weber has the strongest consumer outreach program in the industry with its Weber Grill-Line(SM) (1-800-GRILL-OUT®); Weber’s On The Grill(TM) mobile applications; and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques, and original Weber recipes at www.weber.com®. (The Weber Grill-Line and Weber Customer Service are closed on Christmas).

    Sherry L. Bale of Webster-Stephen Products Co.
    Kim Durk for Weber-Stephen Products Co.

SOURCE Weber-Stephen Products Co.

Source: newswire

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