Freedonia Group analysts have long been talking about the boom in backyard sanctuaries and entertainment spaces during this pandemic era.
According to consumer goods category manager Jennifer Mapes-Christ, “2020 was a time of backyard staycations. Homeowners installed pools, patios, fire pits, outdoor movie screens, and outdoor kitchens; nurtured gardens and bought comfortable outdoor furniture to make their yards a place to gather safely and entertain the kids as summer camps and sports leagues were restricted or closed.”
Mapes-Christ further notes, “That focus on the home space has stayed high in 2021 as consumers have retained and sometimes even built on pandemic-era habits, including home cooking and outdoor living. Cooking outdoors -- particularly on high-end gas grills and smokers -- is the combination of two key trends.”
July saw multiple beneficiaries of the outdoor cooking boom take advantage of the strong stock market and the appetite for IPOs. Weber and Traeger -- two key suppliers of grills and grill accessories – both filed paperwork for an IPO. Mapes-Christ notes, “As more grill owners take interest in hobby grilling, they tend to focus on higher-value grills and accessories. Weber and Traeger are two companies have benefitted. Those who grill for fun or as a passion project are often more interested in flavor-enhancing modes of grilling, including charcoal grills, wood pellet grills, or smokers. Still, many outdoor chefs also want a high-quality, easy-to-use gas grill for everyday use. Specialty elements such as smart or connected features make grilling even easier.”
Additionally, BBQGuys – a leading online retailer of grilling equipment and other outdoor products -- is using the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) form to go public. According to Mapes-Christ, “SPACs have become more common in 2021. Companies are increasingly using the process because it is a more flexible option with less restrictive reporting requirements that is often a faster and cheaper way to take an entity public.”
Overall, grill companies have benefitted not only from the general outdoor living and entertaining trend, but the work-from-home trend as well. Mapes-Christ says, “As more people worked from home, they tended to grill more meals at home – not just dinner on the weekends, but also lunch and even breakfast. Others who had previously not had the time to use slower outdoor cooking methods, like smoking, found that that changed as they could now start a meal earlier in the day while they were working at home and have it ready for dinner.”
The group of people who have found their working situation has changed is still sizable. In The Freedonia Group’s National Online Consumer Survey conducted in June 2021, 10% of respondents noted that their change in working from home was temporary and has reverted to pre-pandemic patterns, but
- 33% of respondents noted that they were still working from home full-time more because of the pandemic
- 24% were working from home part-time more because of the pandemic
- 24% were working from home occasionally more because of the pandemic
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Consumer Goods area with titles such as Outdoor Living 2021, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Furniture & Grills, Landscaping Products, Power Lawn & Garden Equipment, and Outdoor Lighting. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.
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