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Earnings season is in full-swing for outdoor cooking industry. Traeger kicked it off with better than anticipated earnings. They said that they think their channel inventory levels have bottomed, which is great news. They also are selling Flatrock griddles faster than they can make them.
The Solo Brands earnings call was interesting because, while they have always been a direct-to-consumer brand, their strategy has clearly pivoted to being omnichannel. They also noted that, much like last year, they have a bunch of new product launches planned for the rest of the year.
The story at Middleby was very different than at Traeger. They sounded much less confident about their inventory position. The lone bright spot for their outdoor cooking portfolio though was they noted the Konnected Joe grill is selling well.
Beyond their earnings, Middleby also has expanded their showrooms. They opened a Middleby showroom in the Chicago Merchandise Mart that has all of their outdoor cooking brands and offers demonstrations.
The Aubuchon Company continues to roll-up hardware stores. They’re the oldest and largest (with 112 stores) family-owned hardware chain. They added another store this week with the acquisition of J.B. Hostetter & Sons in PA.
Finally LoCo Cookers has continued to innovate with their griddles. They released the Series II SmartTemp griddle, which has a U-shaped burner, individual ignitors, and zone separators. It’s a great option in the growing premium griddle segment.