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I was on The BBQ Central Show this week where I discussed with Greg Rempe the recent acquisition of Dansons, the low market share of kamado grills, and various other topics. Mac Plummer, founder of LoCo Cookers was on right before me, which is also a great listen.
For any Michigan readers looking for a quality, American made smoker, check out Great Lakes Grills in Fenton. Good offset smokers are hard to find in Michigan, and Great Lakes Grills is the only retailer of Pitts & Spitts or Franklin BBQ Pits in the state. We’re huge fans of both brands, so stop by the store to check them out up close. I was up there last weekend looking at them.
For large retailer Ace Hardware, they’re continuing their expansion plans. They announced that they’re building a 1.5 million square foot distribution center in Kansas City, MO. It projected to be completed by 2025.
Academy Sports has continued with their planned leadership changes. They announced this week a replacement for Steve Lawrence, who moved from Chief Merchandising Officer to CEO. Through an internal promotion, Matt McCabe will be the new Chief Merchandising Officer.
Traeger has earned a 2023 Red Dot Design Award. The product receiving recognition is their Timberline XL that was redesigned last year. It’s the first pellet grill to feature an induction side burner, amongst other improvements.
Traeger presented at a Baird investor day earlier this month where they discussed their market penetration and consumer engagement. In markets they’ve invested in, like their home market of Utah, they’ve grown from low single digits to the high teens. They feel this is repeatable in other markets.
On the engagement front, they noted that Traeger Day, which was last month, has their highest level of social media engagement. Their Flatrock griddle launch was by far their highest engaged product launch. They also mentioned that they work with upwards of 1,800 influencers, most of whom they provide product with rather than paying.
Pellet grill maker recteq is investing in branding. They’ve changed their official brand tagline to “grab life by the horns”. In a company first, they partnered with an outside production agency to create assets for paid media spots. The new spots center around their tagline change.
If you like whiskey and looking rad, WhistlePig has a collaboration for you. Much like their partnership with Traeger last year, they just launched SummerStock Whiskey with Pit Viper sunglasses. The rye whiskey is great for summer drinking with BBQ. We taste notes of honey, followed by vanilla and caramel. It drinks higher than it’s proof when first poured, but smooths when it airs out.
Finally, we reviewed the Pellet Adapter for the Solo Stove Bonfire. It’s a useful accessory that allows you to use wood pellets in your Solo Stove. It works great, and is a convenient way to build a fire. We only miss the sounds a fire makes when we used it.