Thermally Modified Wood: Marketing Strategies of U.S. Producers

Omar Espinoza, Urs Buehlmann, Maria Fernanda Laguarda-Mallo

Abstract


Thermally-modified wood (TMW) has enhanced properties and its production does not involve the use of chemicals. However, the adoption of TMW in the marketplace has been limited in the U.S. for reasons that have not yet been clearly established. In this study, the marketing practices of U.S. producers and distributors of TMW were investigated, by conducting semi-structured interviews. Topics included major products and species, markets, distribution channels, promotional strategies, perceived barriers to adoption, and the outlook for TMW markets. Results show that TMW producers in general export a significant percent of their production; that TMW is considered a high-end product; and that customers are not as sensitive to prices as in other mainstream markets. Common products sold include siding, decking, flooring, millwork, and components for musical instruments. Respondents believe that the low awareness of TMW among the American public is a major barrier to wider adoption of TMW. However, companies envision a bright future for TMW as sales and inquiries have increased at a fast rate during the last few years.

Keywords


Thermally modified wood; Marketing strategies; Distribution channels; Awareness; Barriers

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126