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Barbecue Season Starts In Spring Not Summer

It seems we Brits cannot wait until summer to kick-start the barbecue season, and light the charcoals from early spring onwards.

New data has revealed that the British barbecue season peaks in the spring months of April and May rather than in the summer months of July and August.

According to recent research by retail giant Tesco, we prefer to get the barbecue really going in the spring rather than waiting for the summer months.

Tesco has revealed that over the past five years its main sales have happened before summer has even begun. Last year, April saw the biggest demand, although this was likely because it was one of the hottest Aprils on record. In 2010, demand peaked in mid-June, as you’d expect but in previous years sales have peaked during the spring months instead.

So it would seem that whenever there’s a hint of sunshine, we rush into our gardens to enjoy some barbecued meals!

The retailer claims to be the biggest seller of barbecue foods in the UK and was expecting to shift an enormous amount of BBQ-related items over the past weekend as a result of the favourable forecast. This included 2 million burgers, 5.5 million sausages, 300,000 bags of charcoal and 100,000 disposable barbecues. And it was an incredibly hot weekend – perfect for barbecuing!

Tesco outdoor living category manager, Mike Darlington, said: “Traditionally the British barbecue season would really take off during the summer months from June through to August but recently we have been seeing the highest sales before Spring has ended.

“Unseasonably warm weather during the last week of March this year prompted a significantly high demand for burgers, sausages and other related barbecue foods. And while May might have seen more than its fair share of rain shoppers are now rushing out to stock up for what looks like being a whole weekend long of barbecue fun.

“Basically if the weather is warm enough Brits will be in their gardens barbecuing and making the most of it, whatever the time of year.”

With the weather being so changeable, it’s a good job we Brits are so hardy when it comes to barbecuing, with many of us opting to indulge in a spot of fireside al fresco cooking all-year round – and even cooking the Christmas turkey on the barbecue. It seems we really will use any excuse for firing up the BBQ, such as the fact it’s a Sunday or a bank holiday weekend.

The moment we spot the prospect of sunshine, we start planning a charcoal barbecue party! And even in winter, there are things you can do to stay warm while barbecuing, whether it's a heating and grill combination or just wrapping up warm next to your patio barbecue.

It seems the unpredictable weather not only makes for spontaneous barbecuing but it means shops face a “major headache” because of not knowing what foods to have on the shelves. Tesco now has a weather predicting system to help it ensure the right products are available even at short notice, and help reduce food wastage.

When does barbecue season start for you?