One of my favorite things to do in the summer is have a backyard cookout! July is the perfect time to plan one, because it’s National Grilling Month. Now that it feels a little safer to socialize with people, it’s a great way to spend time with friends and family, too.

My family loves to grill hamburgers and hot dogs, but we also enjoy trying new foods. Did you know you can grill pizza? I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my list for the next time we fire up the grill!

Here are a few of my must-have items for the ultimate cookout:

•     Meats

•     Buns

•     Barbecue sauce

•     Chips & dip

•     Fruit

•     Potato salad

•     Lemonade

•     Dessert, of course!

What are your favorite foods to eat at a backyard cookout? Let me know in the comments, I’m always looking for fresh new ideas!

Cooking Craze

Outdoor cooking became even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, probably because we were all looking for new ways to safely socialize outdoors. Many of us were also looking for new hobbies to fill the time as we were stuck at home.

According to Evolve, U.S. consumers have bought more than 21 million grills and smokers since July 2020. An industry group estimates that 70% of all U.S. households now own at least one!

Gas grills are consistently the most popular type, but the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association claims that charcoal is making a big comeback. In 2019, charcoal represented 49% of grills owned, but by 2021 that had jumped to 65%.

Sluggish Sales

Grilling continues to be popular, but sales have dropped recently because of factors like inflation, cost increases and supply chain issues. The market is also becoming saturated, and consumers may be less likely to upgrade or replace their grill.

Another reason for slower sales of traditional grills? There are so many new outdoor cooking options available, like smokers, infrared grills and pizza ovens.

Why People Grill

HPBA found that the main reasons people cook outdoors hasn’t changed, even though when and how much people cook out might shift. Research also indicates that Americans discovered a passion for cooking during the pandemic—and 75% of consumers plan to cook at home as much, if not more, as we emerge from the pandemic.

The top five reasons include:

•     Flavor (57%)

•     Lifestyle (40%)

•     Entertainment (33%)

•     Convenience (29%)

•     Hobby (23%)

Scan your National Grilling Month purchases

Whether you’re planning a backyard cookout with friends or a small family cookout, don’t forget to scan your purchases! Your items might come from the grocery store or a home improvement store, and it might include things like:

•     Charcoal & lighter fluid

•     Grilling utensils

•     Paper & plastic products

•     Condiments like mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce

•     Marinades and spices

Not a panel member? Join here and start earning rewards for providing info about your purchases today. Enjoy National Grilling Month and be sure to try a new recipe!

Best regards,


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