GrillWatch Survey(R) Suggests Summer Staycations Mean More Stay-At-Home Steak!

    National Poll Reveals Economy May Impact Canadian Grilling Habits

    TORONTO, April 15 /CNW/ - According to the recent Weber Canadian
GrillWatch Survey(TM) Canadians are planning to stay close to home for their
holidays and eat out less this year. Many of the answers to this year's survey
could be good news for businesses that offer barbecue products and
accessories, as well as for Canadian tourist attractions, grocery stores and
home improvement centres.
    The 20th annual survey, conducted in February 2009 by Toronto-based Leger
Marketing on behalf of Weber-Stephen Products Co., probes the habits,
knowledge and expertise of Canadian barbecuers. More than 1,000 consumers
(1094) nation-wide, aged 19 and over, participated in the online survey.

    Staycations versus Vacations
    Mirroring a trend that began last year, Canadians reported that they
intend to enjoy a "staycation", or home-based vacation, this year. Almost 40
per cent of those surveyed indicated they plan to take a summer staycation
and/or a staycation plus one smaller traditional vacation. As an additional 31
per cent had yet to decide on vacation plans, the number who actually take a
staycation in 2009 could be substantially higher.
    Staycations were the favoured vacation option of respondents aged 35 to
45, those earning $75-$100K, and those from Quebec.

    Key Reasons for Staycationing
    The three main reasons given for taking a staycation this year: to save
money (45%), to take part in the many interesting or fun things to do nearby
(38%), and the high cost of gas (31%). In addition, 30 per cent of respondents
claim they want to get home-based projects done during time off work. The high
cost of airfares and the weak dollar are two additional reasons cited for not
taking a vacation away from home.

    Staycationers Plan to Grill More and Enjoy/Improve Outdoor Room
    Of those choosing to stay close to home for their annual holiday this
year, 36 per cent say they plan to use their outdoor grill more than in the
past. As well, almost 45 per cent of staycationers intend to try new grilling
recipes and/or new foods on the grill, and 36 per cent plan to host more
barbecues than previously.
    Twenty-three per cent (23%) of those planning stay-at-home vacations say
they will purchase a new grill, update an existing grill or buy more grill
accessories. In the Maritime provinces, one in five respondents planning a
staycation this year intends to purchase a new outdoor grill.
    Another group of home vacationers (36%) - mostly from Ontario and Western
Canada - plan to spend time making improvements to a patio, deck, outdoor
kitchen, courtyard or other outdoor room.
    One in seven surveyed already has an outdoor room. Over half of this
group (51%) plan to use the outdoor space as much as they did last year; two
thirds of respondents aged 35 to 45 say they plan to use their outdoor room
more this year.
    The two top reasons for using an outdoor room are to entertain guests and
to take advantage of nice weather (18% and 16% of respondents, respectively).
Ten per cent (10%) of those with outdoor rooms indicate they are spending more
time at home and therefore using the area more frequently.

    Additional BBQ Trends
    Gas Burns Bright: Nine out of ten Canadians grill with gas; 83 per cent
own a liquid propane barbecue, while 13 per cent use natural gas. Twelve per
cent (12%) own a charcoal grill. Three-quarters of those surveyed own one
grill (76%). If more than one grill is owned, most people prefer to use the
gas version (80%).
    Men Control the Tongs: As past surveys have confirmed, the primary
grillers in Canadian households are men (58%). This is especially true in the
Maritimes (60%). However, young Canadians aged 19-24 are most likely to say
they don't do any grilling at all (48%).
    It's all About the Meat: Steak is ranked both as the food item most often
grilled and as the most favourite item, displacing hamburger in the "most
popular" category for the first time. In second and third place for most often
grilled items are hamburgers and chicken pieces. Second place for most popular
is chicken pieces.

    More Canadian GrillWatch Facts
    -  Nine out of ten Canadians own full-size grills
    -  The majority (68%) prefer grilling in the summer; 32 per cent report
       they grill year-round
    -  Nine in ten surveyed say they fire up the grill at least once a week;
       regionally, Quebec and Ontario barbecuers are most likely to grill
       more than once a week
    -  For the first time, Canada Day (July 1) was ranked as the most popular
       grilling occasion for Canadians (68% of those surveyed), beating
       birthdays (top-ranking occasion in 2007), Labour Day and Father's Day;
       Ontario grillers are also more likely to fire up the barbecue for
       August Civic Holiday and for Victoria Day than grillers in other

    About Weber

    Weber-Stephen Products Co., headquartered in Palatine, Ill., is the
world's leading manufacturer of 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(R) kettle. More than 55
years later, the family-owned company remains the industry leader with its
Weber(R), Weber(R) Q(TM) and Ducane(R) brands. As a leading exporter of
grills, Weber brand products are sold worldwide at selected home centres,
hardware stores, department stores, patio stores, and other retail outlets.
Weber has the strongest consumer outreach program in the industry with its
Weber Grill-LineSM (1-800-474-5568)(*), Weber Customer Service in the U.S.A.
(1-800-446-1071)(*), through its Canadian distributor Onward Manufacturing
(1-800-265-2150), and a content-rich website with grilling tips, techniques,
and original Weber recipes at

    (*) The Weber Grill-Line and Weber Customer Service are closed on

For further information:

For further information: Theresa Stahl, (905) 336-5700,; Beth Merrick, (416) 654-9881,

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