Monday, September 15, 2008

Tailgating Decline for 2008 Season - Weber Barbecue Poll

Hey man! Where's the Tailgate Food?

I'd love to "say it ain't so," but the Weber Grill Company Tailgating Study 2008 found that only 29% nationally "hope to do some tailgating" this year compared to 37% last year.

Some people just don't go for outdoor eating. My Granny always said, "Why would anyone want to eat outside with the ants and mosquitoes when they could have a normal meal inside where it's clean and bugfree." You didn't argue with Granny. You just slipped off and ate outside anyway.

Weber ruled out the non-tailgaters (perhaps bug haters) and asked those who do tailgate (at least twice last year) what's going on. It may come as no suprise that fuel costs factored in. There's the gas to get to the game as well as the cooking fuel (if you go gas). Game and ticket prices also factored in. That was followed by rising food costs. OUCH! We're all feeling the economy and in many places but all in the wallet it seems.

On the plus side, those that do tailgate are grilling more (and more often on charcoal these days - 62%). That's up to 68% this year compared to a little over half for 2005. The increase in grilling rather than buying concessions or buying take out was contributed to better tasting food made fresh and lower costs for home cooked grill food over other options.

If you're wondering what others are tossing on the grill at tailgate parties, these are the top four according to the Weber poll:

1. hamburgers
2. brats/sausages
3. chicken
4. steak

Boy howdy, that's some heavy eating - but good stuff. Although the meats do rule, more tailgaters are putting vegetables on the grill this season. Close half of all tailgaters are juggling the foods and doing the sides on the grill instead of just buying them and bringing them along.

To wash down that great tailgate food, the favorite beverages for 2008 are:

1. beer (is that a surprise?)
2. soda (pop for other parts of the country)
3. water
4. tea
5. wine

Expect to see some bargain beer though, since the average spent on tailgating dropped from $165 last year to $109 this year. Then again, maybe folks are clipping coupons or something. A tailgate party really doesn't have to bust the budget. Nothing wrong with getting some hot dogs on two packs for one sale and cooking up some frozen hash browns. After a few beers (and Bush is quite reasonable), no one's going to complain anyway. If so, point them toward the concession stand.

Happy tailgating. If you can't afford the gas to go and the price of the tickets, then make your own party right at home. Let's just call the home gating and keep those grills fired up.

Go Panthers. OK. I had to add that. I'm from North Carolina.

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