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Consumers still invest in higher quality grills

Despite decline in overall grill purchases

While industry reports show outdoor grill purchases were down in 2009 compared to the previous year, U.S. consumers are spending significantly more for quality, durability, and more features on their barbecues, according to the 21st Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, the comprehensive study on what, where, when and why Americans grill.

Average Price for Grills Sold
Taking into account all outdoor grills sold in 2009 — from small charcoal or electric portables and stationary cart gas grills to built-ins and smokers — U.S. consumers spent an average price of $203 versus $188 the year before — an 8% increase.*

Why the Increase?
Consumers are demanding more features on their gas grills — ownership of side burners, rotisseries, sear stations and infrared burners are on a sharp rise.

For example, 61% now own a side burner compared to 48% the year before, and 32% own a rotisserie compared to 19% in 2008. Ownership of gas grills with an infrared burner has almost tripled in one year from 6% to 17%.


* Source: Weber's Barbecue Industry Tracking Study 
In addition, American grill owners are using full-size grills, rather than portables, more than ever before. Nearly nine out of 10, 89% said they them most often compared to 81% in 2008 and 80% in 2007.

"As dedicated grillers continue to become more experienced in cooking a wider variety of foods, the barbecue is increasingly being viewed as an outdoor appliance," said Sherry Bale, public relations director for Weber Grills. "What would you pay for a quality stove or a refrigerator for your indoor kitchen? As consumers now more than ever want good value for their money, they're seeing the advantages of paying for a durable grill that will stand up to punishing weather and give them years of dependable service."

Other Noteworthy Trends from the 21st Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey:
• Multiple grill ownership is on the rise: One-third of all American grill owners (35%) now own two or more barbecues. One in five of all U.S. grillers own both a charcoal and gas grill.
• Color is now the top finish preferred by American grill owners for their next grill purchase at 43% — up from second place last year at 34%. Black is second at 35%. Stainless steel has moved to third at 33% vs. being most preferred last year at 37%.
• Twenty-seven percent of U.S. grill owners say they are cooking outside more often than one year ago. Grill owners are firing up their grill an average of 4.7 hours per week during their grilling season. One-third of grill owners are grilling at least five to six hours a week.
• The grilling accessory market continues to grow: 32% of American grill owners say they're using grilling accessories (e.g., pizza stones, rib racks, fish baskets, poultry roasters, veggie baskets, thermometers, etc.) more now than in the past.
• While hamburgers, hot dogs and steak are still the Top 3 most popular grilled foods, American grill owners say they would like to be better at grilling beef roasts (22%), whole turkey (18%) and pizza (18%).
• When it comes to taste, a whopping 58% of American grill owners say charcoal grills make tastier food than gas grills (compared to 14% who say gas grills do). Twenty-four percent say they are "about equal."

Methodology: Weber-Stephen Products Co. commissioned Greenfield Online and KeyStat Marketing, Inc. to field the 21st Annual Weber GrillWatch Survey. A total of 1,041 grill owners throughout the United States completed the online survey.

All respondents were over age 21 and currently own a charcoal, gas or outdoor electric barbecue grill or smoker.  The sample was divided between 48% males (n=501) and 52% females (n=540) and was balanced demographically to represent households across the United States.

Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., manufactures 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 an industry leader with its Weber, Weber Q and Ducane brands.

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 also has a strong consumer outreach program with its Weber Grill-Line at 1-800-GRILL- OUT; Weber's On The Grill mobile application; and a content-rich Web site with grilling tips, techniques and original Weber recipes at Weber can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

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