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Summer, sun, barbecue time

Photo: Weber

The summer is here and with it the peak barbecue season. For many Germans, barbecues are in the meantime more than just preparing food – different philosophies come together at the barbecue. For some it is simply the desire to sizzle things in the open air, for others it is a passion or even a sport. We have put several facts and figures together about barbecuing for once.

First of all we wanted to know: What actually ends up on the Germans’ grill? For example, the magazine modern-landwirtschaft.de provides answers to this question. In cooperation with Statista GmbH, in the form of representative interviews it examined the barbecue preferences of 800 people aged between 18 and 65 in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich. The so-called “City Grill Compass 2017” ensued from the analysis data. According to the survey, four out of five respondents had at least had one barbecue once last year. For 93 percent meat is the preferred choice of food for the barbecue. Beef and pork came off best in Munich (72 or 65 percent respectively), poultry is the first choice in Berlin (70 percent) and Cologne (63 percent) whereas it is turkey in Hamburg (40 percent). Sausages are much more popular among men (84 percent) than among women (74 percent).

Females also like to opt for vegetarian sometimes: 68 percent like peppers, potatoes or zucchini done on the barbecue, whereas such field crops only go down well with half of the men (48 percent). The preferences for meatless alternatives vary: Vegetables topped the ranking in Munich (63 percent), barbecue cheese in Berlin (40 percent) – particularly among the age group of the 18 to 29-year-olds. The “City Grill Compass” also shows that although the classic role of the sexes is increasingly crumbling in the German big cities, in the case of barbecuing the old patterns still largely apply: Only one in four women pick up the barbecue tongs themselves – here men still play the dominating role.

Photo: Rösle

People primarily have barbecues in Germany when the sun is shining and on special occasions. That is at least the result of the survey, “This is how Germany is barbecuing in 2016” by The Nielsen Company, in the scope of which 11,000 people were questioned about their barbecuing habits. 85 percent only want to light the barbecue if the weather is nice, if clouds appear or it is raining, the barbecue stays cold. One particularly enjoys having barbecues when friends or acquaintances come to visit – but also the birthdays of members of the family or Father’s Day are readily taken as an opportunity. Incidentally, regardless of the place and occasion, for 75 percent of the respondents, beer is deemed to be the right drink to accompany the barbecue fun.

According to the Nielsen survey, in Germany the favourite among the barbecues is the charcoal grill. 16 million households have one. It is especially popular among young families and people with traditional values. 6.5 million households have an electric barbecue – which means it takes second place. It is the preferred appliance for balcony barbecuers and is particularly appreciated by singles and the elderly. The gas grill, which exists in 3.2 million households, comes third. It is preferred by families and young couples without children and is considered to be the typical terrace barbecue.

Photo: Die Kohle Manufaktur

Overall, the Germans are well-equipped when it comes down to barbecue appliances. The barbecue market is indeed showing further growth, however the industry is in the meantime miles away from the two-digit increase it was able to achieve in past years. The current “Barbecue Industry Focus” by the IFH Cologne, which was published in May 2017, made this clear. According to the survey, last year the turnover on the market for barbecue appliances, barbecue accessories and barbecue fuels exceeded the Euro 1.2 billion mark for the first time. The actual barbecue appliances account for just under two thirds of the turnover. The remaining third is divided up almost equally among fuels and barbecue accessories. Barbecues in the home garden are operated on a more and more “professional” basis and thus the accessories have to be correspondingly high-quality and comprehensive. In addition to the barbecue, today the barbecue fans are buying a lot more meat thermometers, wok attachments and pizza stones today.

The number of books on the theme underlines how seriously the Germans take their barbecuing. More than 1,000 books are available in the retail outlets. The fan community of the numerous BBQ bloggers and YouTubers is also constantly increasing. And of course there are also the German Barbecue Championships: These are taking place in Fulda on 5 and 6 August 2017 this year.

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