image of a memorial day bbq spread with better-for-you options

What Natural Shoppers Are Buying for the BBQ: 3 Data-Backed Shopper Trends for Grilling Season

With cities across the country lifting their lockdown restrictions and vaccines becoming more readily available, summer BBQs are sure to make up for lost time. As you begin to plan out your summer celebrations with friends and loved ones, you’ll be happy to know that all the meals, snacks, and drinks you’ll be consuming don’t need to ruin your dietary goals. In fact, if there’s one major takeaway from the past year, it’s that better-for-you products are flying off the shelves.

Protein For Everyone

Grill tops look a lot different now than they ever have before. While data is showing us frozen and refrigerated meat and poultry are growing at a combined 18.1%, key players like plant-based chicken and beef patties have joined the team. In fact, frozen plant-based meat alternatives are outpacing traditional at 21.5%. Plant-based brands have created the nearly identical mimic of most meats in texture, flavor, and appearance. With vegan plant-based protein up 28%, stacking your grill with options is a great way to offer an inclusive menu and introduce these healthy items to your more traditionally positioned guests.

Lightlife's plant-based products pair well with any bbq
Offer an inclusive menu with Daring's plant-based chicken

Snack Facts

There’s nothing like a good snack table to tide over your guests before anyone gets ‘hangry’ leading up to dinner. Whether you’re providing salty or sweet, you can choose from a variety of healthier options for your guests while still satisfying their taste buds. Snacking is more popular than ever before with shelf stable chips and snacks growing 10.9% in the last year. From cauliflower-based tortilla chips, to sweet potato puffs, and more, there are endless amounts of natural offerings for your guests.

Every Body Eat's crisps are ones everyone will enjoy

It’s 5:00 Somewhere

As the low-calorie market evolves, consumers have higher expectations for drinks to not only deliver good taste, but also not break their dietary goals. Organic beer rose 20% in sales across all channels, while hard cider and other malt beverages saw significant growth of over 50% in all channels. Competing against the growing shelf presence in ready-to-drink cocktails and hard seltzers, beer under 100 calories rose 6,393%, with low calorie malt beverages growing at an astounding 11,100%. “Light” drinks are still expected to taste great, and with so many new competitors popping up in the market every day, brands are continuing to evolve to meet expectations.

Cutwater Spirits are a perfect crowd pleaser
Enjoy a refreshing guilt-free soda and tonic

Grilling season is here, and while we’ve given you the confidence and the data to go forth in all the plant-based, low calorie, and savory grilling staples you can have, we have one major piece of advice: If you’re celebrating in Chicago, please, please…. don’t put ketchup on your hot dog

If you’re interested in how SPINS can help provide dynamic data, actionable insights, and digital activation solutions that drive growth, contact us today