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Dana French

Grill sales will grow 25% by 2011

Consumer spending on grills will reach $3.8 billion by 2011, according to New York-based Easy Analytic Software Inc., and Casual Living market research. That represents a 25% increase in overall sales from an estimated $3 billion consumers spent on grills in 2006.

Even though consumer confidence and the economy continue to fluctuate, U.S. demographics point to healthy growth in retail sales of grills over the next five years. The statisticians at EASI use population and demographic growth patterns to project 2011 sales. Figures assume a national rate of inflation that does not vary from one metropolitan area to another. Changes in economic conditions are not part of the equations.

When looking at buyer demographics, two groups rise to the top — Generation Y and the Baby Boomers. These two generations, comprising more than half of all U.S. households in 2006, will continue to be major forces for our economy. Change is around the corner for Boomers though. Over the next five years, the oldest will turn 65 and enter into retirement. Meanwhile, Generation Y, the children of the Boomers, will continue to grow up. By 2011, all 76 million members of Gen Y will be college-age or older. As with other home furnishings products, these two generations will drive the business.

The wild West

The West is expected to be the fastest-growing region for grills, growing sales 28% from $670 million in 2006 to a projected $857 million by 2011. EASI also predicts western states will see the region's share of the pie grow. In 2006, it accounted for 22% of all sales and the West is projected to account for 23% of sales by 2011. The states of Nevada and Arizona will be the growth leaders, with expected growth of 40% and 35% respectively.

More than half of all metropolitan areas in the West are projected to grow grill sales faster than the national average of 25%. Major metros with the fastest growth include St. George, Utah, at 44%; Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., with predicted growth of 43%; and Greely, Colo., with projected growth of 41%. Small metros, with populations between 10,000 and 50,000, projected to grow the fastest, include Heber, Utah; Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz.; and Pahrump, Nev., each with expected growth in grill sales of 39%.

The hot South

The South is the largest region in terms of population, geographical area and grill sales. It accounted for 36% of all sales last year. Retail grill sales in the South are projected to increase 27% by 2011 to reach $1.4 billion. The states of Florida, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina are expected to have the fastest growth.

More than two-fifths of the major metro areas in the South are expected to grow grill sales faster than the nation as a whole. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, La., is expected to be the fastest growing. EASI projects the area will rebound from Hurricane Katrina damage and will grow its grill sales 51% to $12.8 million by 2011. The New Orleans metro saw its grill sales fall 39% from 2005 to 2006.

Other major metros in the South with huge projected growth include Naples-Marco Island, Fla., with growth of 40%; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., at 39%; and McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr, Texas, with expected growth of 38%.

The largest metros

It only makes sense that metros with the largest populations will have the most grill sales, regardless of climate. With that in mind, the top five of the nation's 934 metropolitan areas in terms of grills sales were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Penn.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.; Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wisc.; Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Penn.-N.J.-Del.-Md.; and Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas. Together, these five major metropolitan areas sold more than $527 million worth of grills last year and are projected to sell $656 million in 2011. The Top 5 combined accounted for 17% of the 2006 grill market. The New York metro alone accounted for 6% of grill sales last year. Just because they're big though doesn't mean they have high growth projections. Of the Top 5 markets, only the Dallas-Fort Worth metro is expected to grow its grill sales faster than the national average of 25%.

Fast-growing small metros

Some of the best markets for grills are small metros, currently with core populations between 10,000 and 50,000. Their populations are growing by leaps and bounds and so is their sales potential. Slightly more than one-fifth of the 573 small metros in the U.S. have projected growth above the national average. The five fastest-growing are Palm Coast, Fla., with a growth rate of 57%; Heber, Utah; Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz.; and Pahrump, Nev., each with expected growth of 39%; and The Villages, Fla., with growth of 38%.

Grills sales by state
in millions

State 2006 estimated 2011 projected % change
Note: States in bold are projected to grow grills sales faster than the national average.
Source: Easy Analytic Software and Casual Living market research
Alabama $46.2 $55.9 21%
Alaska 6.6 8.4 26
Arizona 59.4 80.1 35
Arkansas 27.7 34.2 23
California 345.0 437.6 27
Colorado 50.2 64.0 27
Connecticut 39.3 48.3 23
Delaware 9.0 11.5 27
District of Columbia 6.7 7.5 11
Florida 189.5 248.5 31
Georgia 89.1 115.4 29
Hawaii 11.7 14.8 27
Idaho 13.7 17.7 29
Illinois 129.4 159.9 24
Indiana 65.1 80.1 23
Iowa 31.2 37.7 21
Kansas 28.6 34.9 22
Kentucky 43.0 52.8 23
Louisiana 39.4 49.4 25
Maine 14.4 17.7 23
Maryland 60.2 74.9 24
Massachusetts 71.3 85.1 19
Michigan 104.9 128.6 23
Minnesota 55.2 68.2 23
Mississippi 27.2 33.2 22
Missouri 60.5 74.2 22
Montana 9.6 11.9 23
Nebraska 18.4 22.5 22
Nevada 24.9 34.8 40
New Hampshire 14.5 18.1 25
New Jersey 92.8 114.7 24
New Mexico 18.5 23.3 26
New York 197.4 238.3 21
North Carolina 89.8 114.6 28
North Dakota 6.7 7.8 18
Ohio 120.7 145.4 20
Oklahoma 35.7 43.5 22
Oregon 37.8 47.8 26
Pennsylvania 131.2 158.3 21
Rhode Island 11.7 14.3 22
South Carolina 42.8 53.8 26
South Dakota 7.8 9.6 22
Tennessee 61.7 76.5 24
Texas 220.5 285.2 29
Utah 21.0 26.8 28
Vermont 6.8 8.2 21
Virginia 81.1 102.0 26
Washington 66.2 83.7 26
West Virginia 18.7 22.5 20
Wisconsin 58.8 72.4 23
Wyoming 5.4 6.6 23
Total $3,025.0 $3,782.7 25%


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