Grills! Grills! Grills!

A serial entrepreneur tries to make disposable grills friendly for foodies and the environment.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

grill.03.jpg
The EZ Grill sells for $4.99-$9.99

(Fortune Small Business) -- Serial entrepreneur Phillip Swan, 46, visited his native England last year and ended up in charge of a cookout for 20 people at his best friend's house. Instead of firing up his massive propane BBQ, Swan's buddy brought out disposable grills: baking pans with built-in cooking racks.

"I basically used his $3,000 stainless-steel grill as a stand for the disposable ones," Swan recalls, laughing.

Back home in Kirkland, Wash., Swan researched single-use grills and learned that they had won more than 50% of the charcoal grill market in Australia, the U.K. and countries throughout Europe and the Middle East. So this summer he unveiled a version for American consumers, called EZ Grill, which is available in two sizes and provides about 90 minutes of cooking time. It comes loaded with charcoal made from agricultural by-products -- rice and wheat husks -- and its packaging and aluminum base are recyclable. (EZ Grill's "environmentally friendly" branding is a stretch; despite the components, it's still a use-and-toss product.)

At first Swan projected 2009 revenues of $100,000. But with EZ Grill in 13,000 stores, including 7-Eleven, he's now expecting five times that figure.

These are hard times in the charcoal grill market. Sales are weak; former charcoal loyalists are switching to gas grills, which aren't so messy. Still, Swan thinks his grills will prevail by virtue of their disposability. After all, what's a mess when you don't have to clean it up?  To top of page

To write a note to the editor about this article, click here.




QMy dream is to launch my own business someday. Now that it's time to choose a major, I'm debating if I should major in entrepreneurial studies or major in engineering to acquire a set of skills first. Is majoring in entrepreneurship a good choice? More
Get Answer
- Spate, Orange, Calif.
How Wall Streeters blow off steam The financial world is a notorious pressure cooker. See how bankers and traders chill out. More
8 of the world's craziest fast food items American food chains operating abroad must cater to local tastes to succeed. The results are spectacular. More
Inside the $50,000 Emmys swag bags If getting nominated or presenting an Emmy award isn't prize enough, celebrities come away from TV's big night with luxury goods and vacations worth $50,000. Take a peek at some of this year's luxe giveaways. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.