KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) just completed the largest survey of food athletes in history. The results, garnered from more than 4,000 respondents, provided an interesting peek into the arena of food sports.
"This survey examined the behavior of our BBQ membership in terms of how they prepare to compete, how often they are competing and what type of investment in time, money and equipment they make to be part of the BBQ competition industry," said Carolyn Wells, KCBS executive director.
Celebrating its 30th year in 2016, KCBS is an international nonprofit society with more than 20,000 members worldwide.
"We now can speak confidently about what type of equipment and supplies our membership prefers to use and even where they prefer to buy it," Wells observed. "The 21 percent response rate from our membership provides a statistical relevance not often found in surveys."
Mike McCloud, whose firm, MMA Creative, is the agency of record for KCBS and helped design the survey for marketing insights, stated that the results provided concrete evidence on how similar "food athletes" are to "traditional" athletes.
"We've known for a very long time that food athletes come from two types of backgrounds – they are professionally trained chefs of some sort or they are people who grew up with a family/cultural tradition that celebrated the art form of creating and cooking food," said McCloud, who speaks regularly about food sport. "Either way, they invest major amounts of time, money and energy in their quest to become an award-winning BBQ team or food champion."
McCloud pointed out, for example, that there is a corresponding upswing in competitors who will travel for food sport and recent statistics that identify "foodie groups" with 1.3 million members holding meet-ups in 946 cities throughout the world. However, until the data was collected and analyzed from this most recent survey, it was difficult to drill into the psyche and behaviors of food athletes.
McCloud and Wells agree the results paint an interesting picture of those who travel to compete in BBQ competitions.
First, BBQ competitors make it a family lifestyle. Nearly half of the respondents reported traveling with at least one other person and an additional 37 percent travel with three or more passengers. They take to the road frequently, with 34 percent reporting they enter 6 - 24 contests each year, traveling 1,000 miles or more at a time.
Second, they are serious about winning. Just like traditional athletes, 52.4 percent report spending an average of 4 - 9 hours a week just practicing their recipes. And they spend money when they practice. For instance, 62 percent of the contenders report spending $201 - $600 to practice each week.
While traveling in their own vehicles, the competitors carry with them a lot of utensils and tools, including grills in which they have invested. In fact, 47.9 percent have more than $1,000 invested in a competition grill, while 67.4 percent have invested more than $1,000 in additional cooking utensils and supplies. Economically speaking, the ripple effect is large. In fact, when all stats are compiled, from the number of teams participating to the number of sanctioned barbeque contests that exist, the economic impact of competition barbecue exceeds $250,000,000 in America, according to McCloud.
The study also revealed some interesting demographics. The vast majority (76.8 percent) fall between the ages of 35-64; 82.1 percent are married; and 70.5 percent report annual incomes higher than $75,000, with 40 percent of the respondents employed in management positions.
McCloud said that's not a surprise, considering that 59.2 percent reported having a college or higher degree.
"When you travel the culinary competition circuit, it's easy to see the passion, the intensity and the real drive to win that these athletes bring," McCloud said. "It's not really surprising to learn that behind the excitement of game day, there's real dedication to training, education, innovation, artistry and investment."
To learn more about the study, which was completed in May 2015, contact Wells at 816-765-5891 or McCloud at 615-297-6886.
About Kansas City Barbeque Society
The Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque, is the world's largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 20,000 members worldwide.
KCBS sanctions more than 450 barbeque contests throughout the United States and 28 countries. From volunteering to actual event production, our members also offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events. For more information, visit: kcbs.us.
About MMA Creative
As America's most integrated firm in food marketing, MMA Creative understands that the modern consumer wants and needs to be entertained, engaged and educated as part of their "entitlement" mentality.
MMA Creative manages and represents the leading societies in active food – Kansas City Barbeque Society, International Chili Society, The American Pie Council – and owns and operates The World Food Championships.
This massive platform encompasses more than 700 live food competitions with more than 25 million people in attendance. This movement is all about today's engaged and entitled consumer – and America's love for competing. For more information visit: mmacreative.com
SOURCE Kansas City Barbeque Society