Sweets and snacks abound in promo, but the industry also has you covered when your clients want something with a little more meat to it – literally.

Meats are at the heart of many of our celebratory traditions – think hot dogs on July Fourth or turkey for Thanksgiving – and barbecue is big business, with the global grill market projected to reach almost $13 billion by 2032. In fact, a 2022 Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Omaha Steaks found that 8 in 10 Americans enjoy outdoor barbecues with friends and family more than going out to a restaurant.

May is the perfect time to think about how to get your clients’ brands in on the fun, from National Barbecue Day on May 16 and Memorial Day to three of the most popular holidays for backyard barbecues: Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.


“Food is always relevant,” says Nicki Staats, director of merchandising at iPROMOTEu, the No. 13 distributor in the inaugural PPAI 100. “I think a lot of food vendors get the misconception that they’re only relevant in fourth quarter.”

There are plenty of ways to appeal to meat eaters when it comes to promo, she adds. Of course, there are companies like Omaha Steaks and Kansas City Steak Company that will send fresh cuts of beef, poultry and seafood on your clients’ behalf, and Maple Ridge Farms offers charcuterie boards, as well as smoked turkey breasts and spiral-sliced hams.

Steak is the No. 1 grilled food in the U.S., but people also enjoy chicken, fish and veggies – even fruit (pineapple cracked the top 10). Useful items like branded cutting boards and grilling tools can enhance the end user’s experience in a lasting way, even for vegetarians and vegans. That’s the beauty of gifting a kit with a variety of items, says Staats.

“It’s going to appeal to a wider audience, and it normally has something that they’re going to be able to keep within that kit, whether it be a basket or cutting board or a cheese knife or something of that nature” to keep the brand around longer, she says.

Here are just a few of the options to appeal to carnivores and more.

Charcuterie Party Pleasers gift setwith bamboo board, 3 cheeses, sausage, salami, mixed nuts, etc.

For a classic meat-and-cheese experience, the Charcuterie Party Pleasers gift set includes an oversized, fire-branded bamboo board with three cheeses, sausage, salami, mixed nuts and more.

Maple Ridge Farms / PPAI 114165, Gold

  Snack Attack Kit that includes Original Hickory flavor Fusion Jerky and more

Add a meaty treat to any kit with one of nine savory flavors of Fusion Jerky, available in 1-oz. or 2.75-oz. bags, or opt for a curated Snack Attack Kit that includes Original Hickory jerky and other gourmet goodies. All jerky flavors are gluten-free with no added MSG, no preservatives and no nitrates.

HPG (Batch and Bodega) / PPAI 110772, Platinum

6-Way Spice Rub Set in branded sleeve

Add flavor to your client’s brands with this 6-Way Spice Rub Set, which comes in clever retail packaging and includes half a dozen tasty spice blends: Chili, Beef & Burger, Steak, Bayou Cajun, Chicken & Poultry, and Fish & Seafood.

Midnite Snax / PPAI 113793, Standard-Plus

Grill Easy 3-Piece Stainless BBQ Utensil Set with branded rPET case

The Grill Easy 3-Piece Stainless BBQ Utensil Set With rPET Case includes a stainless steel fork, spatula and tongs so recipients have the essential utensils for successful grilling. Long handles make it easy to tend to a hot grill comfortably, and the tools can be conveniently stored in the zippered case made of recycled polyester.

HPG (Beacon) / PPAI 113702, Platinum

Infrared Cooking Thermometer folding digital meat thermometer

A digital meat thermometer makes a great versatile gift, says Staats. This Infrared Cooking Thermometer provides a fast temperature reaction for both surface and internal readings. It’s waterproof and dustproof, and the foldable probe stores alongside the body for compact storage design. Two cell batteries and gift box included.

Starline USA / PPAI 112719, Gold

branded square Lodge cast iron grilling pan

Give the gift of grilling indoors with a logoed Lodge 10-Inch Square Grill Pan. Made in the USA, it’s preseasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil and ready for use in the oven or on the stove, as well as on the grill or over a campfire.

Starline USA / PPAI 112719, Gold

Koozie Portable BBQ With Cooler Bag, a portable grill kit that comes in a brandable cooler bag

Take the smoke show on the road with the Koozie Portable BBQ With Cooler Bag, a portable grill kit that comes in a brandable cooler, making it perfect for camping, tailgating and more. “There’s summer picnics and all those things, so there’s some great directions you can take this one,” says Staats. Utensils and charcoal not included.

Koozie Group / PPAI 114187, Platinum