The Last Straw for Kingsford Charcoal

There was a time when Kingsford Charcoal was undoubtedly king in my house. Then a few years ago they reformulated. I’ve expressed my disappointment with their reformulation, and was not alone, see here and here. Others complained about changes in grilling temperatures, that the coals would burn out quicker, as well as lack of charcoal flavor. However, my biggest complaint was that the juices from the meat would extinguish the new formulation (which never happened with the older formulation).  I never got the full burn of the briquettes when cooking juicy meat.

This year’s Kingsford Corporate Blunder was to drastically downsize their “value packs” by over 30% without lowering the price. Last year their “Value Packs” consisted of twin 20-lb bags (total of 40-lbs of charcoal for about $12).  This year, I went to Home Depot and paid about the same price. When I got home I noticed they downsize each of the two bags from 20-lbs to 13.9-lbs (total of 27.8-lbs for $13). Come on, did they really think we wouldn’t care?

A bag from last year compared to this year's downsize.

While Kingsford charcoal is still the best selling brand, they have used their market dominance to squeeze more profits by substituting lower cost (and heavier) materials, such as clay and other “binding” materials. In the past Kingsford has decreased the size of each individual briquettes so that they could claim the bags are the “same size” (based on briquette count in the bag). Do they really think we’re that gullible? This latest corporate blunder is the last straw. I’m done with them for good, like Netflix before them. I will try to find other brands and let you know the results.

5 Responses to The Last Straw for Kingsford Charcoal

  1. Lorri says:

    Ahhhh, time for a gas/propane grill, my friend. Yes-I know it isn’t as good at charcoal but I love the “instant on” convenience of it. Come to the dark side ….. Lol

  2. LD says:

    Actually clay is not used, and they weight the bags, it’s not based on a briquette count. The only reason the briquettes get smaller is when the press rolls get worn down, then they replace them.

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