The classic American barbecue typically involves the grilling of steaks, burgers, and hotdogs, and as of 2017 this tradition has persisted, with 88 percent of U.S. consumers typically barbecuing meat or steaks. Furthermore, only about one percent of barbecue owners do not eat meat, showing that the overwhelming share of people who buy grills are also meat eaters. As for beverages, soft drinks, water, and beer are the most popular things to drink at barbecue parties.
No barbecue party would be complete without barbecue sauce, the most popular brands of which are Sweet Baby Ray’s and Kraft. In 2016, dollar sales of barbecue sauce in the U.S. grew by 6.5 percent compared to the previous year, demonstrating its enduring popularity. Hot sauce is also a common sight at barbecue parties and has seen an increase in sales from 1.31 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to 1.37 billion dollars in 2017.
Surveys have also shown that 68 percent Americans do not need a special occasion to fire up their barbecue, and will do so whenever they feel like it, though it certainly helps if the weather is good. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the vast majority of barbecue parties occur from late spring to early autumn, with 63 percent of American grill-owners throwing a barbecue party on the Fourth of July.