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From sizzling meats to seasonal sides to the growing presence of non-alcoholic beverages, grilling enthusiasts are gearing up for a season of culinary exploration and indulgence.

And this year, more and more American consumers are looking for deals on their summer grilling provisions.聽According to a recent survey from 无忧传媒, a business solutions provider聽with unparalleled access to聽unique insights at the brand-retailer nexus, 75% of shoppers 鈥渁lways鈥 or 鈥渙ften鈥 look for meat on sale during grilling season.

鈥淚t鈥檚 important that retailers remember that consumers are looking for smoking hot deals on smoking hot meat,鈥 says聽Gil Phipps,聽senior vice president of聽global customer solutions for 无忧传媒.

That means retailers need to reach consumers on their entire path to purchase, whether that鈥檚 by sending them digital ads and notifications before they enter the store or reminding them at shelf why they visited, he says.

And it鈥檚 not just burgers and hot dogs that they鈥檙e after, data show. Shoppers are actively seeking deals on produce (46%), beverages (43%) and grilling equipment (23%), according to the survey of聽more than 800 American shoppers, which Advantage conducted in April 2024.

The good news for deal-seeking shoppers: Retailers and consumer packaged goods companies聽are leaning heavily into promotions and upping their execution on displays this year to cater to them, according to the latest聽, which was published earlier this week.

Many of these promotions will cater to the cravings of summer聽revelers during key grilling weekends and holidays, says Andy Keenan, executive vice president and general manager at 无忧传媒.

Keenan and his team at Advantage advise retailers to prepare for a notable uptick in meat and poultry sales during summer months as consumers seek out their favorite cuts and varieties best suited for outdoor cooking.

Meat is king

Meat remains at the center of the table 鈥 and the grill.

Meat sales 鈥 and sales for certain types of meat 鈥 rise precipitously in the summer, especially around the holidays, Keenan says. Beyond steaks, burgers and聽hot dogs, meats such as pork shoulder steaks and brisket pop this time of year, enticing grill masters with their slow-cooking allure and potential for rich flavors. And chicken often takes center stage.

鈥淧eople eat chicken all year long, but in summer they prepare it differently, and the parts they prefer change,鈥 says Phipps.聽鈥淧eople buy a lot more chicken thighs to go on a聽grill. Inside, people cook a lot more chicken breast, which is not the best for grilling. But chicken thighs off the聽grill聽are glorious.鈥

Sides, salads and seasonings

Grilling season is not just about meat. Side dishes play a pivotal role in the summer grilling experience.

Corn on the cob and salads 鈥 green and pasta 鈥 take up their fair share of the spotlight, with 41% and 57% of shoppers, respectively, saying they always or often prepare them when grilling.

Seasonal produce, such as watermelon, pineapple and mushrooms, often finds its way onto the grill as well, offering vibrant flavors and textures to complement grilled entrees.

As consumers embrace outdoor cooking, experimentation with flavors and seasonings becomes a hallmark of the grilling experience. Spice sales surge as home chefs craft their signature rubs and marinades, infusing meats with unique and tantalizing flavors.

Away from his day job, Phipps is something of a grill master at home. He has a particular fondness for flavors like聽Tajin, Togarashi, brown butter bourbon and a聽4-3-2-1 marinade.聽鈥淚t鈥檚 four tablespoons of salt to three tablespoons brown sugar to two tablespoons paprika to a tablespoon of cayenne, all in fresh lime juice. It really brings ribs to life.鈥

Cold beer? Mocktail?

The rise of nonalcoholic beverages also is reshaping summer grilling culture.

While cold beers and cocktails remain staples of outdoor gatherings, an increasing number of Americans are opting for mocktails and non-alcoholic spirits, reflecting a growing preference for refreshing and health-conscious drink options.

Still, Keenan聽says, people will often still opt to cool down with or to pair traditional alcoholic beverages with their meals.

鈥淭here will always be a place for a cold beer on a hot summer day,鈥 he says. 鈥淏ut 21% of respondents in our survey said that mocktails will always or often make an appearance when they鈥檙e hosting a barbecue.鈥

Advantage鈥檚 advice to retailers: Always have plenty of cold beer in stock. But don鈥檛 forget to help shoppers discover a new favorite mocktail recipe.

鈥淲ith mocktails a relatively newer trend, not all consumers know a good mocktail recipe. So, for retailers, this is a great opportunity to demonstrate and sample a mocktail in-store so consumers can try it and buy those ingredients to make that drink at home,鈥 Phipps says. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a key differentiator, and another way for retailers to offer a solution for consumers that they can鈥檛 get elsewhere.鈥