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The Market Invisibility of the BGE

FairalbionFairalbion Posts: 139
edited 7:27AM in EggHead Forum
There is a discussion below (“The Egg”) about how ceramic smokers/grills are rarely featured on TV food shows – or much anywhere else for that matter.[p]There are a lot of well-heeled foodies in the country who care passionately about cooking and eating well. They’re the folks who frequent Williams Sonoma (or Cooks Warehouse if they’re in Atlanta), subscribe to Cooks Illustrated and watch the Food Channel. These guys will have well-designed kitchens, nice appliances and a good quality stainless steel gasser out on the deck.[p]There are a lot of not-so-well-heeled folks in the country who enjoy cooking well and eating well. They have well equipped kitchens, enjoy trying new recipes and save their money to eat out occasionally at decent restaurants. They will have a gasser out on the deck or patio.[p]To both these groups the BGE is almost invisible:[p]They are not going to see it written up in cooking or general interest magazines
They are not going to see it written up in newspaper food supplements
They are not going to see one in use outside the local meat market
They are not going to see it at Home Depot or Lowe’s
They are not going to see it on TV – either on cooking shows, or as a placed product in some drama show. [p]They might see one as a curiosity in a barbecue store, a fireplace store or an outside furniture store. They replace the grill every 5 years, the outside furniture every 7 years and the fireplace every 20 years. Not a lot of foot traffic.[p]They may be aware of a passionate community of Q fans who, in turn, see BGE users as a small and dedicated splinter group.[p]Word of mouth is one way to grow a business – but the way things are, propane vendors can sleep well for the foreseeable future.

Comments

  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    Fairalbion,
    In my area, they're also sold at pool stores. The folks with swimming pools often go to the local pool store once a year or more to pick up more supplies (chlorine and such.) At my nearest store, the Big Green Egg is sitting there right inside the door.[p]I don't know how much that type of exposure helps, but it is another avenue.

  • randomeggerrandomegger Posts: 194
    Fairalbion,
    In my small circle of friends, I have converted at least five to BGE owners. I can think of at least twice that many who would like to have one but are waiting for windfalls, spouse approval et cetera to purchase one. [p]I suspect there are many on this board who would say the same.[p]There certainly seems to be a swell of interest in BGE but perhaps that's just due to the rough crowd I hang with.[p]I have friends who still prefer the convenience of the gas grill and just don't think the effort and expense is worth it. Always going to be folks like that - just as there will always be a market for Mr. Coffee makers. The superior presses will never supplant them.[p]So, I dunno. I think we are doing alright. I suspect BGE sales are not slumpint![p]RE

  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    Eggtuary wrote,"I don't know how much that type of exposure helps, but it is another avenue."[p]Yes, it IS exposure, but in my findings the so-called dealer knows nothing of/about the product :( It's a Catch22 for BGE.

  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    Fairalbion, my local news rag/fish wrapper solicted tips and tricks from it's readers for it's 4th of July issue. I sent in a detailed email praising the use of lump charcoal in both ceramic and stick burner grills, along with some recipes, how-to's and some pics (none of my comments were used, but that wasn't surprising as I've PO'ed the newspaper and reporters quite a few times in the past 30 years. In fact, one of the sports writers bought a house next to me and was told to avoid me cuz I was crazy) lol I'm not crazy, but I'm pretty opinionated on certain subjects.
    [p]
    Anyhow......the Sunday issue and story was 90% gas grills, mostly the Weber and some higher end SS models. A few mentions of the usual square charcoal grills and a mention of the Hibachi. Kingsford was referred to as the 'charcoal of choice' by a couple of the avid grillers who grill once a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day ;) As I said, NO mention of lump charcoal or ceramic grills.
    [p]
    I've turned a few people onto ceramic cooking and even more people onto lump charcoal. The jump from lump to ceramics is the next logical choice for them, and they know it. Time is of the essence for some people, and I'm told that the ceramics take too long to light. Not so, I tell them, almost as quick as getting a gasser to the proper tmep to cook (most don't, they lite and throw on the food!). I've even travled 15-20 miles during my dinner hour just to help people light their grills.....seems that phone instructions are useless ;) But I don't care, just getting someone happy with their EGG is worth all the aggravation. One more for the cause...... ;)

  • Jose'Jose' Posts: 48
    Rumrunner,
    You Da MAN!

  • EggtuaryEggtuary Posts: 400
    Fairalbion,
    Funny, here we were discussing the market invisibility of the Egg, and on the SAME DAY, we get a post from the producers of Bobby Flay's show on Food Network. Perhaps someone's prayers have been answered?[p]If they show up at Eggtoberfest, it certainly can't hurt publicity. Man, I was already contemplating going down there. If Food Network shows up, that could really help entice my wife...

  • HammerHammer Posts: 1,001
    Fairalbion,
    You make some very intresting points..I wonder what the customer profile is of the current Big Green Egg user, as well as what the target group is?
    Any idea?
    Hammer

  • Mark BackerMark Backer Posts: 1,018
    Hammer,[p]Last year we did a "how old is the average egger" type of poll. What if everyone posted their egg bio. You know, like:[p]name:
    city, state:
    age:
    How long have you been egging?
    What made you decide to get your first egg?
    how many eggs do you have?
    How many people do you KNOW have bought eggs directly as a result of eating what you cook?[p]
    Might be interesting indeed, and may prove the word of mouth to be more powerful than you think.

  • Fairalbion, last year all grill sales were up around 3% in the US but Egg sales were up around 25% year to year, if I recall correctly. My guess is that 75% of Eggs are sold by word of mouth or someone eating egged food...It is such a superior product to anything else....

  • BlueSmokeBlueSmoke Posts: 1,678
    tn slagamater,
    You can easily spot "savvy" retailers: they have demos on a regular basis.[p]Ken

  • HammerHammer Posts: 1,001
    Mark Backer,
    Good idea; I would suggest adding questions such as:
    What size egg do you have : # XL_ lg_ etc;
    How often do you cook on the BGE: Daily- weekly- XWK-
    I wonder if the mothership has any profile data? If they don't; I would think they should have it.
    Maybe the new site could put it together in the profile section.
    Hammer

  • BlueSmoke,speaking of savvy, are YOU and "D" going to make Eggtoberfest this year? I count you as a savvy guy! Our friend in Colorado is enjoying your old Egg !!

  • Dr_RedwineDr_Redwine Posts: 189
    Rumrunner,
    You so Crazy!!! That is FUNNY! I can't imagine folks thinking you to be a crazed man. I think you are dead on about lump in general. My Dad used lump charcoal as long as I can remember. An old fellow in our community (God rest him) made it and sold it to the local civic groups, etc. He would always save my Dad some for 7/4. $6 a bushel. And it was GOOD stuff. Hell, we didn't know it was lump; we called home-made charcoal.[p]Word of mouth is what drives the egg. I've sold one in a year and I'll bet two folks more will eventually buy. People just have to get over thinking that $XXX is too much for a cooker. Once they think that it will be the last one they need to buy, then they're over the hump. Hell, I gave my two Webers away.
    DrR

  • Dr_RedwineDr_Redwine Posts: 189
    Fairalbion,
    We're making strides, I think. I had never heard of the egg until about 3 years ago. Even then, I was skeptical due to the sticker shock. I saw one on a charter boat before that and didn't know what it was. It wasn't until I got on here that I decided that I needed one. Word of mouth is spreading about the egg. Most of my buds and co-workers know what I cook on and know what it can do. My $0.02....[p]DrR

  • Rumrunner,
    Unless the DEALER has a couple of eggheads working for it.
    I realize that there are dealers out there who look at the
    egg like an expensive version of a kettle that they can get a few big sales a year out of--too much bother to research and too expensive to buy themselves to try out.
    I certainly am not in the league of you and most of the folks who post regularly on this board, but I am doing the
    research here, on other web sites, and on my own egg to continually learn more. I feel we dealers not only should
    be able to tell the potential buyer how to start the egg, but we should cater toward the owners even more so for supplies that they actually use for cooking, like good lump
    charcoals, chips, premium rubs, and sauces. We have sold
    several eggs recently to folks sent in by current owners who are starting to get their supplies from us. Weekend demos help too, but enthusiasm and word of mouth seem to make the biggest difference for us. I know that there are
    plenty of other dealers and employees out there who share
    my enthusiasm for the egg.
    We've only been a dealer since March, and still have alot to
    learn, but I think we're going in the right direction.
    Grillnut[p]

  • Frank KingFrank King Posts: 10
    well, the Egg got a little press on Fathers day. This article was in the AJC. hopefully you can read it
  • Why1504Why1504 Posts: 277
    At my house we feed quite a few frieds and family. After a meal cooked on the egg most everyone ask how much? How hard to cook on? etc. I have sold about 2 per year. I know this if I had a garden shop I would become a BGE dealer and during the spring I would fire that sucker up every saturday and give away food. Sell 2-3 eggs every Saturday and you can pay for a bunch of chicken wings and ABT's cut in thirds.
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