Tuesday, May 2, 2023
In Belgian streets, you can already smell the smouldering charcoal and hear the meat sizzling here and there. Barbecue season has kicked off and Colruyt Lowest Prices is back to turn get-togethers with family and friends into delicious moments. Colruyt sees five trends this barbecue season and responds to them with an expertly compiled product range and culinary inspiration. Barbecuing traditions are not going away, but Belgian consumers are looking for variation.
Trend 1: Tradition that is here to stay
Chipolatas , meatball skewers, merguez, farmhouse sausages and farmhouse chipolatas. The five top-selling meat specialities of the summer of 2022 (in that order) show once again that Belgians remain loyal to their classics. And that goes for the entire barbecue assortment. Brazades (smaller skewers), for instance, are now a firm favourite, which customers at Colruyt confirmed by buying a quarter more brazades last year than the year before. And 10% more barbecue platters were sold. That's why this year Colruyt is combining both top products in a brazade platter. Side dishes such as pasta salad, potato salad, tabbouleh and marinaded potatoes were also popular. Rice salad with tomato and basil will be added to this this year.
In the fish offering, salmon and prawns were the barbecue top-sellers - in the summer of 2022, Colruyt sold nearly 1,000 tonnes of salmon and prawns.
In terms of vegetables, three have proved very popular. First and foremost tomatoes. In the summer months, as many as 4,500 tonnes of tomatoes were sold, including the smaller variants such as the Toma’Muse cherry tomatoes with marinade which are ideal for grilling. The freshness of cucumbers also seems indispensable in the summer, when sales traditionally peak. The third classic is the potato, which we prepare in the skin (with or without garlic or herb butter). This summer we'll also be selling two new herb butters of the brand Meggle: a threesome of flavours and a handy tube.
A barbecue would not be a barbecue without an extensive aperitif. The classic choices remain olives at number one followed by tapenades, hummus, antipasti and dried tomatoes. Cheese, in all its forms and flavours, is also popular: cheese blocks, mozzarella, feta or melted Camembert or Brie on the barbecue.
In terms of drinks we resolutely go for rosé, wine boxes and lager. In fact more rosé was drunk in the summer than red wine. Nearly half of the nine million litres of rosé sold annually is consumed during the summer months. The tips for this summer are the fruity and smooth Tavel ‘Les Galets’ and the Spanish Finca Museum.
Wine boxes also do well at barbecues. The annual sale of wine boxes at Colruyt could fill five Olympic-size swimming pools. In terms of beer lager is the top-seller, with as many as 3.4 million crates sold in the summer of 2022. Flavoured beers also do well. Cara Rouge was a huge success last year. And sangria cannot be missing from a barbecue either: two thirds of the volume of sangria at Colruyt is sold in the summer.
Trend 2: BBQ and budget: not a contradiction
Enjoyment and watching your budget do not have to be mutually exclusive, especially for Colruyt customers. Thanks to the lowest prices and the extensive assortment there's a choice for every budget, including BBQs.
At the Colruyt butcher's customers will find many specialities costing less than € 10 per kg , such as barbecue sausages or hamburgers, spare ribs, marinaded bacon, skewers, marinaded chicken legs and chicken brazades. Also excellent value for money: the barbecue platters. These can be combined with affordable sauces: Boni Selection pepper sauce, mammoth sauce and BBQ sauce (€1.89). Colruyt sold more than 15,000 litres of BBQ sauce last year.
And why are 1.5 million cucumbers scanned at the check-out every year? It's the ideal budget-friendly vegetable. The same applies to tomatoes, lettuce and potatoes.
In terms of affordable drinks customers will find various wine boxes, including the Everyday box for just under € 3/litre, sparkling wines for around € 3/bottle and Cara Pils. Yummix Pina Colada in a three litre packaging is an ideal non-alcoholic and budget-friendly aperitif.
Trend 3: Balanced BBQ
A significant number of customers is always looking for a more varied and balanced diet. Both vegetarians, flexitarians and meat eaters are finding delicious alternatives for meat on the grill.
Fish and veggie products are appreciated more and more when hosting a barbecue. Cold dishes such as tomato and shrimp, salmon béarnaise and salmon hollandaise made by the butcher's shop also sell well. And there's a big range of veggie alternatives such as the Boni skewers and sausage, the Garden Gourmet burger deluxe and Chick Breast of De Vegetarische Slager.
Grill cheeses such as Cypriothalloumi and Belgian berloumi are also proving to be very popular. Colruyt sold about 43 tonnes in the summer of 2022. The advantage of these cheeses is that they don't melt. In fact, they get a delicious golden crust on the barbecue.
Colruyt customers also like fruit and vegetables on the grill. Portobellos, corn, courgette, aubergine, pepper, pineapple, melon, etc. are not just a side dish anymore. Watermelon is perfect for on the grill and in side dishes and people have picked up on this versatility: in the summer of 2022 Colruyt sold 2,000 tonnes of watermelon.
The need for more balanced barbecues is also reflected in extra sales of non-alcoholic drinks. One in five Colruyt customers occasionally buys a non-alcoholic alternative. In terms of volume, beer is the most popular non-alcoholic drink, followed by sparkling wines, aperitifs, spirits and still wine. Non-alcoholic aperitifs and spirits are on the up. New beverages such as the Night Orient Mojito or Spritz or the Tanqueray 0 % are great supplements to the bestsellers Crodino, non-alcoholic pastis and Marie Galante.
Trend 4: BBQ = We-time
Belgians get out the barbecue to experience fun moments together. And that includes the occasional indulgence, with products that offer just that little bit extra compared to the classics.
For instance, customers are able to choose some special meat specialities. The spicy Spanish skewers, limoncello marinaded spare ribs, tomahawk steak, Angus Beef hamburgers and the porchetta slices are just a few of the possibilities. People who prefer fish can go for plaice, marinaded prawn skewers, grey shrimp, sardines, tuna steaks, etc. By way of the perfect accompaniment, Colruyt launched the new Belgian Bister mayonnaise. Teriyaki sauce and sriracha mayo provide an oriental twist.
Anyone saying indulgence, is saying desserts. They cannot be missing from a barbecue either. These are going to be winners this summer: pastéis de nata, Portuguese puff pastry with cream, Le Patissier ice cream pralines and marshmallows.
The large assortment of drinks will also guarantee a fun time. For a larger group a small keg of Jupiler or Leffe Blond is ideal. The Bandol by Barthès or Studio by Miraval are stylish rosés. Non-alcoholic alternatives are the lemonades of Belvoir, non-alcoholic amaretto or a mocktail with Batteliek syrups.
Trend 5: BBQ whenever possible
A barbecue doesn't need much preparation. Good weather forecast? Belgians take every opportunity to fire up their barbecue. Colruyt responds to this trend with a ready-made assortment that lends itself perfectly to an impromptu barbecue.
This is why the Colruyt barbecue platter, a varied assortment of barbecue delicacies, is so popular. Big pieces of meat such as an entrecote or a côte à l’os are ideal for on the grill and for sharing. Very practical: the side dishes of the butcher's department that you only have to open, and the different breads from the bread stand (Turkish or Lebanese bread, Greek rolls, wraps etc.). What more do you need for a barbecue!
If you want to make it extra special, Colruyt's fresh market has a large assortment of ready-made appetisers. In addition to the classic olives, tapenades and hummus there are the Mix&Enjoy bruschettas or pre-cooked chicken wings. We also have several ready-made fruit and vegetable options: cut up watermelon, a Tropical fruit mix for sangria, a cabbage salad or new potatoes with herbs.
Colruyt also offers convenience solutions for drinks, such as cans. In terms of beer, Jupiler and Cara are popular, with joint sales of 40 million cans over the past summer. New big hitters are Grimbergen Blond and Bruin, Desperados Mojito and Tout Bien pils.
Wine is also sold in cans, e.g. Mateus rosé or non-alcoholic sparkling wine of Gran Barón.