Creating the perfect backyard grilling experience can take a little practice and some planning, but it’s supposed to be fun, not stressful.

For Dobi & Associates President Glen Dobi, whose product line Cedar Craft includes the most important ingredient for making classic and delicious cedar-grilled salmon, grilling season 2022 had all the makings of a flame-broiled disaster.

Dobi’s TrueFire and Coastal Cuisine brand cedar planks are a popular grilling accessory that Dobi has sold for years through retailers that include Costco and Amazon. The cedar products company founded by Dobi and his wife in 2003 also makes cedar planters and pergolas, all made from repurposed cedar scraps generated by cedar mills.

Under an exclusive program with Wegmans grocery stores, the company provides 5-packs of the 7 1/4”x12” grilling planks for retail sale and also provides the product in bulk for producing the grocery chain’s own freshly grilled salmon.

For years, the program ran swimmingly: the planks were selling well, the salmon was delicious. Then came a flare-up of structural mishaps. Pallet displays were falling apart like overcooked seafood.

The Mystery of the Clattering Planks

A pallet containing 1,000 individual items would crumble and fall over in the truck, knocking another pallet over in the process.

“One falls, and it’s dominoes,” Dobi said. “You open the door and tens of thousands of cedar planks would spill out. We were not on the (retailer’s) Christmas card list.”

Dobi’s team had recently switched to a new display vendor but couldn’t pinpoint the exact problem. The dimensions of the pallet didn’t align well with the forklift. A false bottom made the structure a little top heavy. Were the assemblers putting the supports in the wrong place? Was the truck improperly loaded? “We tried numerous things to beef it up,” he recalled.

“We tried rearranging in the truck. We had tape to keep things in place so they wouldn’t move. Our improvements only made the results worse. We had more and more collapse.”

Fallen cedar plank pallet

The problems persisted on and off for over four years and Dobi was at risk of losing the campaign. “We were just stuck,” he said. “We had tried everything, and we were at risk of getting the boot because we couldn’t fix the problems.”

Then he found TPH Global Solutions®.

Now We’re Cooking: New Display Looks Great & Arrives Intact

A Dobi & Associates rep reached out to TPH looking for help creating a ½ pallet floor display “that does not collapse during transit.” Luckily, that is one of our specialties.

“They had a solution they had perfected over the years. They literally saved our business.”

– Dobi & Associates President Glen Dobi

“At a glance” the TPH team recognized why the displays were failing, Dobi said. Too much weight in the top half of the display made it unstable and prone to topple. In addition, the straps used to secure the top heavy displays in transit were placed too low.

Dobi said working with TPH was a completely different experience. TPH Global Solutions Senior Project Manager Ted Natzel was “very quick, very knowledgeable, and asked a lot of very good questions, Dobi said. “Totally dialed-in, professional and top of his game. It was a very different experience from our prior vendor, who was very helpful, but couldn’t solve the problem.”

Grilling Plank Display by the Numbers

  • 11.875” wide, 7.25” tall and 1.0” deep – plank dimensions
  • 5 – Number of grilling planks in each package
  • 300 pounds – weight of planks on each display
  • 1,200 – number of grilling planks in each display
  • 10-15 minutes – grilling time for cedar planked salmon at medium heat
  • 20 minutes – recommended presoaking time for cedar plank

The Solution: A “Bullet-Proof” Display & Redesigned Protection in Transit

TPH designed a new display that distributed the weight all the way to the ground. They also replaced the large box design with four smaller interlocking boxes for greater stability.

The result was a display that “looks great – and it doesn’t fall over or collapse,” Dobi said.  “They had a solution they had perfected over the years,” Dobi said. “They literally saved our business.”

“The new design was bullet-proof,” Dobi said. TPH also added straps at different heights inside the 53-foot trucks, so that even if the trucks had to stop quickly, the fully packed displays would remain secure. The new design has also simplified the process of replenishing the displays, he said.

Today, Dobi said, the TPH-designed display is working so well that he has already put the trauma of the clattering platters behind him. “We went from weeks of high drama down to none,” he said. “I’ve already forgotten about it.”

Retail Campaign Help You Don’t Have to Stress About

If you’re ready to replace the sleepless nights and high anxiety of a retail program that has gone off-track, the TPH Global Solutions team is here to help.

We have decades of experience helping clients get their products to market smoothly, with end-to-end support and oversight of the planning, pitching, packaging, display and supply chain requirements of their retail programs.

Whether you’re working on a campaign for a warehouse club, specialty, retailer, grocer or pharmacy chain, we can help make you look good with retail buyers and ensure that your campaign is built for repeat success.

Contact us to learn more about custom packaging and displays.

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