So, the Labor Day weekend is upon us. Would you like to know what you’ll be grilling and drinking on Monday? Yes, I already know and so does Budweiser. That’s right, our friends from across the state have got it all figured out. And, not surprisingly, the beverage of choice is very much to their advantage.
In a press release from Budweiser’s Kansas City publicity team came news of a new national study, one that “dares to ask the toughest questions about America’s most flag-waving, beer-drinking, and charcoal-grilling end-of-summer holiday.” So, just what were these hard-hitting, “60 Minutes”-type queries?
I thought you’d never ask.
▪ Barbecuing vs. movie watching: Will more Americans light the grill or hit the theaters?
▪ Hamburgers vs. hot dogs: Will burgers or wieners take top billing in 2016?
▪ Domestic vs. Imported Beer: Which brews will quench thirsty Americans?
▪ South vs. Midwest vs. East vs. West: What U.S. region will bring their BBQ A-game?
Yep, Budweiser “grilled” 2,000 Americans about their eating, drinking and leisure plans for Labor Day 2016. The results, while not all surprising, do provide insight into American preferences.
First, in a nutshell, Americans will be grilling and/or barbecuing a lot more than watching or going to the movies. 214 million Americans (67 percent) plan to fire up the grill this year, while 115 million of us (36 percent) plan to watch a movie at a theater or at home. And the food of choice is hamburgers, a big winner over hot dogs. 150 million Americans (70 percent of barbecue-goers) expect to bite into a burger compared to 109 million hot dogs eaters.
The survey also unearthed this new food trend — barbecued chicken at 40 percent now edges out steak at 37 percent and ribs at 32 percent on Labor Day plates. I’m betting we’ll be eating a whole lot more ribs than that here in Kansas City. I don’t know. Maybe those other places don’t know how to cook ribs properly.
So, what will all these folks be drinking with their burgers, dogs, chicken, steak and ribs? This is a Budweiser survey, right, so hold onto your hats for the results.
98 million Americans (44 percent of barbecue-goers) will drink an ice-cold domestic beer like Budweiser, while only 49 million (22 percent) will drink an imported beer. I know. Shocking, right? I don’t know about you, but if I’m drinking beer on Labor Day, it’s likely to be imported from Kansas City as in a growler from KC Bier Company or Cinderblock or a six pack of Tank 7 from Boulevard Brewing.
I know. I know. Boulevard is by a European company, but the beer’s brewed here, and it’s still darned good. More likely for me is a bottle of a nice Chilean Carmenere or a Cotes-du-Rhone from France. Those will pair well with whatever comes off my grill or smoker. Sorry Budweiser.
Happy Labor Day!
Dave Eckert is a partner with Flavor Trade, a Kansas City-based gourmet food incubator and co-packer. Before that, Eckert was the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS and AWE for 12 seasons.