Let's get this out of the way, barbecue is not sauce. Barbecue is a method of slow cooking meat over low heat and smoke. You can't put "barbecue" sauce on a carrot and call it Barbecue. The sauce is just a condiment on hopefully good meat.
That being said, let's talk a little about barbecue sauce. Most Americans prefer their barbecue to be accented with some sort of barbecue sauce. According to The Praxi Group: Beef Flavor Preference Study, October 2005; funded by The Beef Checkoff, 45% of Americans want barbecue sauce on their beef.
So what's the flavor break down of the barbecue sauces?
- 31% of us want it to be smoky/hickory flavored
- 32% want it to be sweet (Preferred by Caucasians, women and those in North, Central and the South)
- 22% want a hot/spicy sauce (Preferred by consumers 18 to 34, Asians, Hispanics, African Americans and men)
- 13% want a tangy or vinegary sauce (Preferred by Caucasians, and consumers 55 and up)