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New portable gas grill isn’t keeping up with demand, says Weber CEO

New portable gas grill isn't keeping up with demand, says Weber CEO

September 17, 2021: -On Wednesday, Weber CEO Chris Scherzinger told CNBC the company’s new portable gas grill is off to a “rock-star start” since its launch earlier this year, predicting more sales success this fall as football tailgates and other gatherings pick up.

“It’s perfect for tailgating. It’s perfect for camping. You could think of it as a post-pandemic kind of play because it’s all about people coming back to parking lots outside of stadiums and going to campsites and getting together with groups,” Scherzinger said.

The grill officially named the Weber Traveler sells for $325 on the company’s website. Its legs collapse, allowing for more accessible storage in the trunk of a car, for example.

Online reviews for the Traveler grill have been “stellar,” Scherzinger added. “We’re barely keeping up with the demand, and that should be a big play for the fall here.”

After Weber issued its inaugural quarterly results as a public company, Scherzinger comments, following its IPO on August 5, fiscal third-quarter revenue rose 19% year over year to $669 million. Weber also projected full-year sales to be up between 28% to 29%. Weber shares rose more than 7% in Wednesday’s session.

In general, Scherzinger said he was optimistic about the company and grilling industry’s future for a few reasons. One is that 40 million millennials will be turning age 35 in the next decade, he said, and around that age is when people often buy their first house and, in turn, become interested in purchasing a grill.

A second reason is that, for many people, Covid-era flexible work policies will outlast the pandemic. Scherzinger said Weber benefits from that, even if it’s in hybrid form with employees spending a few days in the office and a few days working at home.

“Even if you add a Friday at home to the mix, you’ve now increased your weeknights for grilling by 50% versus where we were pre-pandemic, so there’s a lot of runway for the whole category,” he said.

Weber’s stock closed Wednesday at $14.93 per share. In its August IPO, it priced shares at $14 apiece and ended its first trading day at $16.50.

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