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Media Release

Client: Theresa Stahl, Public Relations Director for Canada, Weber Products

Date: 2002

OUTDOOR COOKING A POPULAR YEAR-ROUND CANADIAN ACTIVITY

Toronto, ON – Canada’s love affair with outdoor grilling continues. According to the latest Weber Grilling Survey, Canadians from all regions of the country admit to firing up the barbecue in both winter and summer months. The survey, completed in April 2002, was conducted by Toronto-based Leger Marketing on behalf of the Weber-Stephen Products Co.

Barbequing is a true Canadian tradition. Seventy per cent of respondents report that they barbecued as often last year as in previous years, while an astonishing14% noted that they are grilling even more often than in the past. The highest level of increase in barbecuing by age category is among 18-24 year olds. Age is also an important factor in grill ownership. The highest category of non-owners were respondents in the 65+ age range.

The telephone survey confirmed the truth of a number of legends associated with the current Canadian barbeque scene. Firstly, most grill owners prefer gas models over charcoal – almost 60% of respondents owned a gas barbecue. Secondly, it’s the men who do most of the outdoor cooking. Sixty-six per cent of the male respondents reported that they take charge whenever the grill lid is raised!

In a surprise finding, the survey notes that women are starting to take control of the tongs – 34% of female respondents said they are responsible for the outdoor cooking in their households. This is a substantial increase over last year’s results (29% in 2001). The reason might have something to do with practicality. Over 60% of the females surveyed liked to barbecue because they say it as a healthy way to cook and it keeps the house from heating up in warm weather. Men, however, ranked taste and speed as the two primary reasons why they like to grill.

The survey revealed one other new finding: professionals and blue-collar workers stand shoulder to shoulder when it comes to outdoor grilling. Individuals at both ends of the economic spectrum comprise the highest percentage of gas grill owners. Respondents from each category report that the primary reason they grill is for the taste and flavour of the food. As well, they both report similar frequency of grilling activity – often and in all seasons. (In addition to blue collar and professional, the other Main Occupation categories were service/sales, homemaker, student and retired.)

The survey also demonstrated that, as a rule, Canadian outdoor chefs continue to make one fatal error. Almost 60% admit they cut into the meat to check for doneness. Women are by far the biggest offenders here (54%)! Timing is actually the correct – and professional - method of checking that an item is cooked, but only 5% of those surveyed use this method. Women are more likely than men to use a thermometer; men confidently rely on “going by experience” much more than women. However, 12% of all survey respondents say they can tell if an item is ready by “looking at it”!

The Weber Grilling Survey encompassed a representative sample of 1,508 individuals from across the country, with a slightly higher number of female respondents.

Weber-Stephen Products Co. is a leader in the manufacture of outdoor grilling equipment, offering a full line of gas and charcoal grills. The company is the only barbecue manufacturer in Canada to conduct a survey of outdoor cooking trends. From April 1st to Labour Day, Weber-Stephen operates the Weber Grill-Line™, 1-800-GRILL-OUT ® - the only toll-free barbecue phone line in North America.

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