Grilling Up Outdoor Living Profits

This is the fifth installment of a special series, presented by the National Hardware Show, exploring key trends and developments driving the growth of housewares and home goods in the home improvement retail business.

Home grillers in recent years have expanded their menus beyond hamburgers, hot dogs and steak and are now comfortable grilling a variety of foods from fruits and vegetables to pizza.

The traditional side of outdoor cooking— barbecue and smoking— appears to be making a comeback.

“People that are really into barbecuing will go out and buy a legitimate smoker,” said Daniel Cellucci, culinary direct for Cuisinart Outdoor. “But pellet grills and smokers along with propane smokers are becoming more popular and these products are making the task of smoking foods easier.”

Home cooks have been inspired to give smoking and traditional barbecuing a shot by the surge of restaurants focused on barbecue-style foods and cooking shows that feature smoking and slow-cooked barbecue dishes.

Renewed interest in what would be considered traditional barbecuing follows a prolonged period of strong growth in grilling. Consumers during the past several years have turned to grilling as a healthier way to cook; and as a cooking method that contributes to more flavorful meals.

As grilling grows more popular, there are noteworthy considerations when targeting different age groups.

Millennials are more open to the idea of cooking meals from scratch. But those who live in apartments or condominiums are limited in the types of outdoor grills they can use.

Baby Boomers, meanwhile, may be less adventurous in their cooking, but most are willing to invest more in their outdoor grilling equipment.

Pizza has emerged as the hot new menu item across generations when it comes to grilling and outdoor entertaining.

The “new” pizza flaunts fresh, gourmet ingredients. And it is all about personalization— encouraging guests to choose their own toppings; to try new gluten-free or cauliflower crust recipes; or to fire up classic pizzas.

Cuisinart Outdoor’s Cellucci said consumers looking to make pizza outdoors want products that help provide an authentic pizza prep, cooking and dining experience.

This has driven a new generation of easy-to-use, portable and high-performance outdoor pizza ovens, as well as a wide selection of pizza tools, serving accessories and tableware.

The National Hardware Show is a premier destination serving the evolving outdoor lifestyle products trend. The 75th anniversary of the National Hardware Show, taking place May 5-7, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will showcase an expansive Outdoor Living exhibit; plus the popular The Backyard Marketplace, a lively oasis located in the Show’s Tailgate, Backyard & BBQ section featuring leading brands and innovative products for grilling, outdoor entertaining, décor and more.