Who Reads Hearth & Home?
Sharla Wagy, for one!
Occupation: “General Manager, Memphis Wood Fire Grills.”
Special Interests/Hobbies: “Trying new recipes on my Memphis Grill, strength training and yoga, reading, traveling with my daughter, playing the piano and serving on the board of the Minnesota Sinfonia, a non-profit orchestra providing free concerts, and music education in low-income schools.”
Problems/Issues Facing the Barbecue/Grill Industry: “Changes in trade agreements could affect import/export tax rates – we’ll see what the new administration brings forth. Overall economic growth, the exchange rate with Canada and Europe and, of course, regulations, Net Zero, etc., continue to be a concern for our industry as a whole.”
Key Trends in the Barbecue Industry Today: “The growth of wood-fired cooking popularity, the growth of healthy eating trends, and the flexibility of today’s grills to cook not only meat, but vegetables, cheeses, bread, deserts, etc. We have seen a great response to our cloud-based Wi-Fi app, allowing consumers to control their grill from anywhere. The convenience factor helps make the grilling and smoking process easier in our time-crunched world.”
View of the Industry Over the Next Five Years: “Positive – Hope for continued economic growth, homeownership and interest in flavorful, healthy and convenient meal preparation. Continued growth in the outdoor living movement across all income and demographic sectors.
“Consumers are looking to make their outdoor space as beautiful and comfortable as their indoor space; that will continue to grow. We have had a great year at Memphis, and look to continue our growth with a premier product and new dealer and marketing programs planned for 2017 and beyond.”
“Negative – If the market is uncertain or stagnant, it could slow the growth we’re seeing. Regulations could increase costs and hinder growth.”
Years Reading Hearth & Home: “For a total of about 20 years over my career. I did leave the industry for several years, but now that I’m happily back in, I’m once again reading every issue.”
Reasons for Reading Hearth & Home: “Several reasons: Pertinent articles, such as the October issue on Canadian Commerce and the challenge for American manufacturers with exchange rates; reading about my customers and friends in the industry, their stories and visions for the future, and getting current statistics on industry sales.”