Having a barbecue? Then you're going to need these

SAUSAGES, BURGERS, steaks, spare ribs, lamb chops and kebabs are the most popular red meat barbecue products, according to the British Pig Executive (BPEX) and English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).

Statistics from TNS indicate a 50% year-on-year increase in British barbecue occasions, with opportunities for meat seemingly set to grow even further. A rash of gas-fired barbecues means more owners can decide to have a barbecue on the spur of the moment whatever the weather, according to TNS.

"Sausages are by far the most popular protein consumed at 54% of all barbecues," says BPEX marketing director Richard Lowe. "Pork is also a favourite featuring at nearly 40% of barbecues. In particular, pork joints and chops are proving very popular, up 600% and 151% year-on-year, indicating that consumers are becoming more adventurous with the meals they dish up at the barbecue."

Another popular item is spare-ribs, with a quarter Chinese-style pork, barbecued in the home. "It is important, then, for butchers to seize the opportunity to increase sales of these products through effective merchandising and labelling," adds Lowe.

"With less rain, and more hours of sunshine compared with 2004, Britain's love affair with the barbecue continued to grow last year with over 113.3m barbecues between May and November, a massive 50% year-on-year increase from 2004," says Chris Leeman, retail sector manager at EBLEX."People are eating more beef and lamb at barbecues than ever before with beef consumed at almost half of all occasions. Beef has experienced nearly 50% year-on-year growth of consumption at barbecues while lamb continues to grow healthily with consumption up nearly a quarter," he says.

Beef burgers remain one of the nation's favourite barbecue foods eaten at over 42% of all barbecue occasions. Steak is being consumed at 9.6% of all barbecues, with sirloins leading the category.