Barbecue is set to boom this Fourth of July, Panjiva says

As Americans get ready to fire up their grills this Fourth of July, Panjiva notes that shipments of barbecue products to the US are booming --- running 28 percent ahead of last year’s levels.

A firm with offices in New York and Cambridge, Panjiva analyzes bills of lading for ships bringing goods to the United States. The technologies that Panjiva uses for that analysis were developed under the leadership of company cofounder James Psota, a computer scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Panjiva sells its data and analysis to manufacturers and suppliers.

Looking at shipment data, Panjiva said that during the first and second quarters of 2013, there were 1,753 shipments of grills, barbecue paraphernalia, cook-wear, sauces, and more; that represents a 28 percent gain over the numbers tracked during the comparable period in 2012.

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Another intriguing data point: Today’s barbecue chef seems to prefer gas grills to barbecue grills, as the Panjiva graphic below suggests.

“We’re not sure what’s driving the increase, whether it’s food television cluing people in to the ease of grilling or if it represents consumers wanting to save money by cooking at home, but we can tell you one thing: people are cooking with gas,” a Panjiva blog post said.