Barbecue Assoc to target funky foodies

The National Barbecue Association is planning a media relations assault ahead of its biggest summer campaign next year.

In the past nine years, there has been a growing ‘premiumisation’ of products for the barbecue market, said Brian George, MD of National Barbecue Promotions, which runs the events and campaign on behalf of the association.

‘We have become a nation of foodies. There has been an evolution from sausage to swordfish, from burgers to brochette,’ he said, referring to the trendy cuts of lamb.

‘Barbecues have become fun, fashionable and funky and we felt the campaign needed to move forward to reflect those changes in attitudes to food and lifestyles.’

The association estimates the number of barbecues held in the UK this year increased to 75 million, up from 65 million in 2003, and is now worth £1bn in sales of food, drink and hardware. It appointed Nexus PR last week to the £150,000 UK media relations brief, following a pitch against incumbent Frank PR, Consolidated Communications and Brave PR.

Nexus will begin to plan its campaign for 25 to 44-year-old ‘foodie, upwardly mobile’ people from next month to communicate the idea that barbecues are good fun, and that the sort of food and drink people consume has changed.

It will use national newspapers and consumer magazines, national and local radio and TV. The campaign runs from 1 May to 31 August, and includes the National Barbecue Week, from 30 May to 5 June, a ‘Britain’s best barbecuer competition’ and nationwide roadshows.

It will also move overseas for the first time to Ireland and continental Europe, following the NBA’s membership of the Swiss-based World Barbecue Federation since 2003. A separate pitch is under way for Ireland, while Nexus is likely to co-ordinate the European campaign’s media relations.

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