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Current Backyard is Targeting a New Grill Consumer – Interview with the GM

Current Backyard is a new grill brand from W.C. Bradley Co. (makers or Charbroil) that’s breaking all the grilling traditions. Their connected electric grills, that are at the head of the pack technologically, are targeted at a completely different consumer.

Part of the issue with adoption of electric grills for traditional grill buyers is undoing decades a bad examples of electric grills, like the George Foreman grill. As the GM of Current Backyard, Stacie Pacheco, explained to me though, they aren’t focused on doing that after all.

We’re targeting a new generation of grillers – Gen Z and young Millennials. They might not be familiar with older electric grills (like the George Foreman), and that’s probably a good thing. The Current Model G offers a completely different experience, with advanced technology that delivers authentic grilling results. Like electric cars, the best way to overcome skepticism is to let people experience the Current Model G firsthand. In-person demonstrations allow them to see the grill in action and taste the delicious results for themselves.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard

You can easily see the difference in targeting from their ads on social media platforms. Anecdotally, the ads that I’ve seen run on Instagram feature influencers that are women outside of grilling, rather than the traditional grilling personalities. This is intentional, because Current Backyard doesn’t believe there’s even much overlap between traditional grillers and their target audience.

There’s minimal overlap with traditional grill buyers. Our target audience are early adopters who currently can’t grill due to living restrictions or haven’t found a grill that fits their lifestyle. They’re a younger and more diverse demographic compared to the traditional griller.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard

Much like most start-ups, Current’s growth isn’t limited by the replacement cycle of the grilling market or housing starts that lead to new purchases. They’re targeting people that can’t currently grill, so it’s an existing base of consumers that hasn’t traditionally been serviced. They believe that’s a market that is ready for growth.

The electric grill market is ripe for expansion – we see electric grills as a single digit percentage of the market today. While traditionally marketed to existing grill owners, there’s a vast untapped potential among those who haven’t been able to grill due to limitations like apartment living or gas restrictions. This segment, driven by tech-forwardness and eco-consciousness, is a perfect fit for the Current Backyard Model G. It offers a powerful, full-sized electric option that delivers exceptional performance and a convenient, connected experience.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard

Not only are they trying reach those people through different marketing, their brand launch as a whole has been different. Rather than launching at one of the outdoor cooking trade shows, they picked the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where they were recognized as an Innovation Awards Honoree in the Smart Home category.

It’s fitting for the brand too because not only are they unique with the cooking capabilities of their electric grill, they have more tech than any other electric grill. They’re the first brand to offer connected grilling in an electric grill.

Our messaging focuses on three key angles: Tech, Precision, and Accessibility.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard

Other grill companies have straddled being both a tech brand and grill brand. A difference between tech and grilling though is the replacement cycle. Could a focus on tech and a younger, non-traditional consumer shorten the replacement cycle to match other tech products?

While the Current Backyard Model G is built for long-lasting durability and can be serviced like traditional grills, the tech focus could influence replacement cycles. Similar to how people upgrade their smartphones, we see a segment of tech-savvy early adopters who may be drawn to the latest grilling innovations. As we continually improve and introduce new features, this group might be more likely to upgrade their electric grills more frequently.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard

A key to influencing the replacement cycle is to keep introducing new, improved products. While that’s harder to do with a charcoal grill, it’s much more doable with an electric grill, an area that hasn’t seen much innovation until the last couple years.

We recently discovered an induction grill patent from W.C. Bradley Co., which would be a huge step forward in electric grill technology. Is that on the horizon from Current Backyard?

Induction is the most efficient heating method, and we’re exploring its potential for electric grills, though technical hurdles remain before it’s commercially viable. There are other emerging technologies that we are looking into as well, so the future is wide open and exciting for electric grills and griddles. We’re constantly exploring new technologies to push the boundaries of electric grilling. The future is wide open and exciting for electric grills and griddles, and we’re constantly exploring and adopting emerging technologies to push the boundaries of electric grilling.

Stacie Pacheco, GM of Current Backyard
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