After the Internet was established for commercial transactions, everyone wanted to get in on the "next big thing". I was one of those people. In the early 2000's I headed West looking for new markets and opportunities. I started in the Pacific Northwest with what I knew; restaurants. I opened a BBQ restaurant and Deli in West Linn and expand to a second location in Downtown Portland, Oregon.
I discovered a new market in BBQs. A company called Traeger Grills located in Willisonville, Ore. had invented a something called a wood pellet BBQ grill. A wood pellet grill was an invention made by welding a pellet stove burner inside a barrel wood smoker. But instead of using heating fuel pellets, Traeger made food grade wood pellets for these grills. The result was a patent worthy invention called the Wood Pellet Grill.
Traeger Grills Commercial
I immediately recognized the opportunity. A company that no-one outside of Oregon and Washington had heard of suddenly invented a brand new product; I put on my Chief Marketing Officer shorts and got to work.
Traeger Grills Elite Model
I built a website, attended national BBQ trade shows, competed in southern BBQ competitions and sponsored BBQ talk shows to learn the industry. The result was we became Traeger Grills #1 Dealer in the Nation.
Royall Rood Pellet Grill original design drawn by John W. Lightowler
There was only one brand of Wood Pellet Grill; the Traeger Grill.. The big boys like Weber were not going to convert from gas or charcoal to wood anytime soon. So in 2009, I asked my father to draw up a wood pellet grill to compete with the Traeger. I took the drawing Royall Manufacturing in Wisconsin to manufacture The Royal Grill, which is still being sold directly from the manufacturer in Wisconsin today.
What does the next generation need next?
Here is what I have gathered are the main concerns of today's youth":
The new generation wants to look good and be healthy.
They also love to eat restaurant. food.
The new food is not food served in restaurants is not healthy for human consumption . It makes you fat.
I started learning about health, diet and nutrition. I learned the difference between grass fed beef and grain fed. My Dad told me before he died, "If you want to do something, look to the health food industries. People will buy anything they believe is healthy. But they are also very concerned about leaving a clean planet for their children's children's future." I listened.
Health club revenues are rapidly approaching the $100 million mark while people continue to gain weight: ca---ching.
Health club revenues and fitness members saw a boost in membership and revenues up during the early 2000's. During that same time, more people became obese. The reason is in order to work out, a person must consume energy foods which are really just sugary candy bars. People wanted to look better, feel thinner and live healthier.
The trend is not slowing as heath club revenues approach the $100 million mark. During that same time frame, alcohol sales have been steadily declining.
Health food bars have become an enormous hit with youths since the early 2000s. I was mountaineering back in the 2000's. Cliff Bars were the ultimate standard in nutrition. They tasted terrible. But it was just a fancy expensive candy bar. Snickers does the same thing. Today, the candy isle is end capped with 'health" bars that contain sugars. They will pay $5 for a candy bar. At the same time, alcoholic beverage sales and soft drink sales have plummeted while water sales are on the rise. Health, not wealth, is the theme for this generation. They will spend $15 for a vegan scoop of ice cream that they believe is better quality than store bought desserts.
People learned that they could have the same amount of fun dining at home as going out. The same is with movies, hard cuts, bars and nightclubs.
I Spent 20 years researching for the 'Next Big Thing'
Obesity rates have skyrocketed in the United States since 1950.
Americans have been getting fatter each year ever since our parents thought going to "drive-in" diners, milkshakes and fried potatoes was a healthy meal.
What's more alarming than obesity rates doubling is that now the parents are giving the children too much sugar. There is a moral impetus to correct the actions of our forefathers.
I sold wood pellet BBQ grills to a market that was saturated with gas burning grills. That was (and is) still the "Next Big Thing" in BBQs. I sold that business in 2011 searching for the "next, next big thing." I headed to South to Central America. I heard that beef was big down there. I knew BBQs. I started searching for opportunities.
During the 1960s , everyone was trying to make a buck selling addictive, FDA approved legal substances : alcohol, barbiturates, amphetamines. & nicotine. As these substances become more regulated and the public became more aware of their health dangers, sales started plummeting in those industries.
For the first time in history, alcohol consumption declined in 2015.
People need to get back to work. Obesity rates were already skyrocketing before COVID shut down the health clubs. The new clothes designers are for large people trying to hide their body. An elite few will realize they get better results selling, interviewing working when they look better. Why? It's biology and psychology. People hire and buy from someone they find attractive to versus someone they find appalling. We evolved being attracted to humans. People who are thin look more like our ancestors. People who are fat look the same as each other.