Grilling Giants Like Traeger, Solo, and Weber Are In A Post-Pandemic Sales Glut - The Average Joe


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    Grilling Giants Like Traeger, Solo, and Weber Are In A Post-Pandemic Sales Glut

    Noah Weidner

    July 2, 2024

    There’s nothing more American than grilling, but despite 80% of US homeowners owning a grill or smoker, the barbecue business isn’t as hot as it used to be. The once-booming pandemic BBQ craze is cooling down as homeowners lose their appetite for the latest grill gear.

    BBQ-bye: As Americans embraced home cooking, high-end grill manufacturers Traeger ($COOK), Solo Brands ($DTC), and Weber went public in 2021, riding a wave of sales and investor interest. But three years later, growth has simmered, and losses have mounted, casting a shadow over their futures.

    • Sales of Traeger and Solo Stove grills have plummeted 51% from their 2021 highs, tanking their stocks by over 90%. Weber was taken private last year after losing half its share value.
    • One hardware store owner told CNN that sales have simply fallen “back to normal” but that he’s seeing a wider variety of customers purchasing propane tanks.

    Fourth Fever

    Americans might be dodging grill upgrades as they tighten spending on non-essentials — a trend worsened by rising barbecue costs. According to Rabobank’s BBQ Index, July Fourth barbecue costs have jumped 32% since 2019, with the cost of hosting a 10-person BBQ hitting a record $99. As a result, brands are responding with deals.

    • Home Depot ($HD) has introduced promotions to entice homeowners with intro-level grills like the $99 Weber kettle, along with free assembly and delivery.
    • Retailers like Walmart ($WMT) and Kroger ($KR) are bundling popular BBQ products to attract cost-conscious Americans.

    Grill on: Grill manufacturers might struggle to replicate their abnormal 2020 successes, but that won’t stop Americans from firing up the grill. And it won’t stop them from upgrading in the future. With the average grill lasting about five years, Home Depot’s Joe Downey believes, “The bottom has been reached and we are on the upswing.”

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