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Chefs and operators at independents and at national chains alike are breaking out the BBQ sauce and firing up their smokers and grills for BBQ season. And if there’s one pork cut that’s in demand among the consumer audience, it’s pork ribs — perfect for BBQ. Pork ribs are both the leading and fastest-growing pork dish, with 50% of consumers choosing them at lunch, and 62% of consumers choosing them for dinner.1 And the great thing about ribs? Chefs can impart so much flavor and signature flair into them.

It’s especially encouraged for chefs to step outside of their comfort zone and get creative with ribs when customers are expecting more originality. Jeff Thalrose, owner of MeatBoneZ BBQ, says his customers are seeking out bolder tastes.

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The growing interest in home barbecuing was also experienced by smaller, more regional companies. Corey DiGiovanni and Jeff Thalrose, the proprietors of the New York State-based barbecue company MeatBoneZ, said they "watched the popularity for grilling grow immensely over the last year," driven in large part by the large-scale lockdowns that gripped the country last year and sent many people to the Internet looking for new food ideas to pass the time.

"We definitely think it will continue to be popular with more and more people realizing that there's more to barbecue than what they were brought up on at birthday parties and graduations," the duo told Just the News via email. They noted that their own brand grew markedly over the past year and a half

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