Canadian BBQ Trends

June 07th 2018


Canadian BBQ Trends

According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) 2017 survey, 80% of adults in Canada own at least one outdoor grill or smoker. That’s 10% higher than in the U.S., a country synonymous with barbecuing. Clearly, BBQ is hot stuff for the Canadian food industry!


With the return of barbecue season we’ll see an upswing in the sales of hamburger patties, sausage, steaks, kabobs, RTD cocktails, and all things related to BBQ and outdoor living. Click the link to see what foods and flavours will be big in the backyard for 2018!


What are Canadians putting on their grills? The overwhelming majority rank good old hamburgers at the top of the list - 90% to be exact. Burgers were closely followed by steaks, chicken, and hot dogs. Sausages rounded out the top five. Salmon was the top-ranked fish for grillers. Now that you know what food Canadians enjoy off the barbecue, let’s talk flavour.


For a lot of people, good barbecue is all about flavour. Big flavours, bold flavours, in-your-face flavours. Let’s start with the sauce. Barbecue sauces come in seemingly infinite varieties, and every famous barbecue region has its signature blend. There’s South Carolina Mustard Sauce, Kansas City-style Sauce, Chinese Char Siu, Montreal Steak Sauce — and the list goes on.


In Canada, studies show that the top flavour preferences are for combo sweet and sour sauces, and anything with a bit of heat. Sweet and sour sauces include Mississippi, Kansas City, and most maple-infused concoctions. A Hawaiian-style sauce, with pineapple, brown sugar, vinegar, and pumped up with cayenne would do the trick for both categories!


Intriguingly, 12% said they like exotic or tropical ingredients in their sauce. This opens up the chance to make some really cool (or hot!) concoctions. Pass the papaya pica sauce!


For some, barbecuing harkens back to a simpler time when you didn’t need to worry about what was in your food because you already knew. Maybe that’s why there’s plenty of room in this space for clean label and better-for-you products. A remarkable 48% of Canadian barbecue consumers bought natural and/or organic BBQ products in 2016. What an opportunity to bolster your market appeal with premium, functional ingredients! Maybe ride the wave of Filipino cuisine with a fiery Adobo sauce made with choice capsicums, or a Japanese Apple BBQ sauce freshened up with oregano.


So what’s the key to reaching Canadians where they live in the summer? Simple - tantalize their them with great, classic flavours done well, and elevate their taste experience by offering them a little something they haven’t seen before.


To refine that vague recipe into your signature grilling product, talk to the barbecue flavour experts. Are you ready to thrill the grill?





Be the first to know!

Subscribe today for insights, inspiration and information delivered right to your inbox