The emergence of outdoor cooking as a prominent category was clearly evident throughout the Koelnmesse Exhibition Center this week, where grills, barbecues and smokers of all sizes, styles and price points could be found.
Outdoor cooking products occupied an entire hall during the spoga+gafa show, which began Aug. 21 and will run through Sept. 2. Spoga+gafa is held each year in Cologne, Germany, and is the world’s largest trade show dedicated to lawn, garden and outdoor living.
As consumers across the globe continue to take refuge in the great outdoors and prepare meals alfresco, manufacturers continue to develop new and interesting products to meet these outdoor epicure’s needs.
Here are a few outdoor cooking trends spotted while roaming the halls at spoga+gafa.
Wood –Fired Ovens are Hot
Multiple manufacturers were displaying their wood-fire ovens that offer consumers everything from table-top models big enough to accommodate a single pizza, to much larger units that would be serviceable for a small restaurant.
In the past, many of these products have carried higher price points, but a number of manufacturers at spoga+gafa were displaying smaller units that will allow consumers to begin snapping twigs and toasting wood-fired delights for under $300.
The photo above features a tabletop wood-fire pizza oven from Mexico Trade Center BV. It offers consumers an affordable option to get cooking with wood.
Outdoor Cooking is a Serious Hobby
The fact that consumers are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars on outdoor kitchens, programmable grills and smokers that are built like (and about the same size as) Mack trucks. Probably one-third of the barbecue/outdoor cooking hall was dedicated to these high-end cooking devices that seem to be getting bigger and more feature rich.
Taking it Back to Basics
Just like the high-end grills and smokers push the envelope of technology and price points, some manufacturers are taking their outdoor cooking options back to basics, simply offering consumers a way to put food on top of fire. Two items found at spoga+gafa that met this need in unique ways included an entire line of mobile “bon-fire kitchens” and the BarrelQ, which uses 55-gallon drums to offer a unique grilling option.
While not all of these products are currently available in North America, they do hint at the types of items available through global sourcing and the styles and trends that should be headed this way in the near future.