THELASTMILE Logistics Outside the Box
BBQ Supply Chain SIZZLES With consumers fired up to grill, manufacturers and retailers turn up a range of strategies to smoke the competition.
• In April, Clorox Co., the owner of the Kingsford charcoal brand, reported a record-setting quarter of shipments for grilling products such as charcoal, pellets, and lighter fluid. The company has seen steadily increasing sales in the grilling category since the pandemic started. More Surf Than Turf The top-growing barbecue-related categories for the 12 months ending April 2021 were main courses: seafood by 29%, chicken by 18%, and vegetables and imitation meats by 17%, according to NCSolutions. Where’s the Beef? In June 2021, Walmart’s Angus beef supply chain cooked up its first product: McClaren Farms brand. Working with U.S. cattle producers and processors starting in 2019, the retailer built an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef, with the goal of being traceable and transparent. Walmart opened a case-ready beef facility in Thomasville, Georgia, in
January 2020, which serves as a distribution hub for some Angus beef cuts, such as steaks and roasts, to 500 Walmart stores in the Southeast, including Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. Here's the Rub 2021 is not a surefire banner year for grill sales, however. Some dampers:
Sales of grills and smokers in the United States soared 41% to $3.2 B for the 12 months ending in March 2021, according to data from NPD Group.
• The resurgence of restaurant dining
• Rising commodity prices, particularly steel and aluminum
Heating Up in 2021 Grill makers, caught by buying surges in the latter half of 2020, are turning on the afterburners this year to catch up to demand. • Newell Brands, the maker of Coleman grills, got current partners to provide additional capacity for its grills and will add new suppliers to meet higher demand. • Weber-Stephen Products made a record number of Weber grills at its U.S. plant in March 2021—the biggest production month in the company’s history—by having the factory run 24 hours a day. • Char-Broil moved up its shipment schedule for 2021, shipping to retailers as early as fall 2020.
• Port congestion and container shortages
How much sourcing for barbecue grills shot up in May 2021, year over year, on the Thomasnet.com platform. 81%
96 Inbound Logistics • June 2021
SOURCES: BLOOMBERG; NCSOLUTIONS; MEAT+POULTRY
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