Market with potential

Miele invests in outdoor cooking market

More and more people are becoming enthusiastic about preparing meals in the fresh air and are investing in high-quality grills or even entire outdoor kitchens for this purpose. Miele is now tapping into this high-potential field by acquiring a majority stake in Otto Wilde Grillers.

Jun 09 2021

Barbecue boom continues unabated 

A market that grows continuously is attractive - not only for investors. The barbecue industry has been recording an increase in sales for years. Even if it was rather low at around one percent recently. However, the Corona pandemic has brought movement back into the barbecue and outdoor cooking business segment. 

The current market forecast by Statista for Germany proves that the industry has great potential: For the year 2021, turnover in the barbecue and grilling equipment segment is expected to be around 34.6 million euros. And according to the current forecast, a market volume of around EUR 41.5 million is expected in Germany as early as 2025, which corresponds to annual sales growth of 4.65% between 2021 and 2025.

Miele has also long since smelled a rat. In March, the Gütersloh-based company acquired a majority stake in Düsseldorf-based start-up Otto Wilde Grillers, thus setting the course for outdoor cooking and grilling within the company. High-quality grills and entire outdoor kitchens are strongly in vogue. The group is now tapping into this promising business segment by acquiring a 75.1% stake in the start-up. 

This strategy is not new for Miele: The company has been looking for promising growth areas outside its core business for some time. The new activities include the gourmet delivery service MChef, the vertical farming specialist Agrilution and the recipe app KptnCook.

One of Otto Wilde's flagship products is the multi-adjustable O.F.B. top-heat grill with infinitely variable temperatures up to 900 °C. © Otto Wilde Grillers/Miele

Otto Wilde Grillers: A Düsseldorf start-up with potential

Otto Wilde was founded in Düsseldorf in 2015. The mining engineer and ex-CEO of a machine factory Ulrich Otto Wilde, who built up the start-up together with his son Nils, daughter-in-law Julia and Alexander Luik, is the eponym and technical mastermind. Revolutionising outdoor cooking and barbecuing - that is the shared vision of the quartet, and indeed the company is already one of the most innovative barbecue providers in Germany. 

One of the flagship products is the O.F.B. top-heat grill, which can be adjusted in many ways and has continuously variable temperatures of up to 900 degrees. Otto Wilde first received the "German Design Award 2018" for this and then the "Iconic Award 2019".  

From now on, both sides will benefit from the merger: Otto Wilde contributes its know-how in the field of innovative high-end grills and accessories. Miele adds its many years of expertise in the development, production, networking and global marketing of premium built-in appliances. Gernot Trettenbrein, Head of the New Growth Factory business unit at Miele, explains to us in detail what Miele's goals are in entering the outdoor cooking segment. 

Mr Trettenbrein, Miele has not been active in the outdoor cooking market to date. Why is Miele now entering this segment? 

Barbecuing and outdoor cooking are fast-growing markets, as more and more people are becoming enthusiastic about preparing sophisticated dishes together in the fresh air - and are therefore investing in high-quality barbecues or even entire outdoor kitchens. This field offers significant synergy potential with Miele's core competence in ambitious cooking and stylish enjoyment - and this is where we now want to take off together with Otto Wilde. 

Otto Wilde's flagship product is currently the O.F.B. top-heat grill. The company is already selling this premium grill internationally. Where will the journey go now? What is the joint plan in the field of outdoor cooking for the coming years? 

At the moment, Otto Wilde has a highly innovative gas grill in the pipeline with the G32 platform, which can be easily expanded into a complete outdoor kitchen with appropriate modules. Here, customers can put together their own individual outdoor kitchen - for example with a module for a refrigerator or a sink. In addition to expanding the portfolio, further internationalisation is on the joint agenda. 

Miele has already invested in several promising start-ups via Miele Venture Capital. What is behind the strategy? In which areas does Miele intend to invest in the future? 

We are taking a multi-pronged approach here: Through our subsidiary Miele Venture Capital GmbH, we are investing in promising start-ups that support or complement our existing core business, for example with exciting smart features for our appliances or innovative tools for digital marketing - but without aiming for a majority stake here. And through our new business unit "New Growth Factory", we are opening up new business areas beyond our core business, as we are doing now with Otto Wilde Grillers - for example through our own start-ups, majority shareholdings or even 100-percent takeovers.  

Gernot Trettenbrein is Head of the New Growth Factory business unit at Miele. As an executive, he has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and sales of international premium brands.

Author: Bernadette Trepte

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