Healthy Lifestyle Superfood Brand Grows Despite Pandemic
The MCT story began as many do – two college buddies into fitness and nutrition developed a super-healthy food bar in the kitchen. Their nutritious bars tasted very good, the keto diet exploded, and a business was launched. The company gained shelf space in natural grocery chains, expanding its distribution regionally then nationally. The marketing strategy was 100% trials in these retail settings conducted by 60 brand ambassadors – when customers try it, they love it!
But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, their successful brick and mortar-based business came to a screeching halt. To survive, the young company had to quickly change its direction to online.
e-Commerce to the Rescue
The pivot to e-commerce was all-consuming. There was so much to figure out; nothing was the same. Everything had to be brought online including marketing platforms and partnerships to identify new customers, learning the details and intricacies of shipping and logistics, and analyzing the completely new e-commerce cost structure. By June 2020, with heroic effort, MCT was indeed an online e-commerce business.
Nonetheless, there were important issues to work out; both involved shipping. First, summer weather was coming and the breakfast and dessert bars, while shelf-stable, could experience some melting. First impressions are vital for repeat customers – MCT’s standards require that their product must arrive in a pristine, delectable condition. Their shipping company was a general shipper without experience in cold shipping and working with ice packs. Consequently, the company suffered a significant drop in their online customer ratings. Clearly, MCT could not ramp up sales until this customer experience issue was resolved.
The second issue was the actual cost of its shipments. The team realized that the many variables surrounding packaging, size of box, weight, just an inch in length all made thousands of dollars of difference to the bottom line. How to structure a profitable business?
Cold Shipping Specialist Brings Critical Skills
About this time MCT was in touch with Perishable Shipping Solutions (PSS) of Youngstown, OH, which specializes in e-commerce shipments of cold and frozen foods. Their experience includes working with young e-commerce food companies. Using the dimensions provided, PSS researched the best solutions for MCT’s specific needs. An extremely detailed proposal was developed that included pack-out options and pricing. Danny Catullo of PSS walked the MCT team through a lengthy on-boarding session, a much-appreciated business consultation that included further ways to reduce costs. MCT executives were relieved and pleased that they had a partner who really understood and could add value to their business. With PSS’ new pack-outs and shipping services, MCT’s high-quality food bars arrived in good condition, and online customer reviews again soared.
Next Up: Expansion to New Markets
Knowing that their product would be received as expected, MCT now had the confidence to continue its market expansion plans. Through the efforts of their customer service to stay close to customers with human contact and patient listening, new flavors and other innovations were introduced. Incentives for bulk purchases and subscriptions lowered shipping costs, and savings were passed along to their customers.
With the founders’ (Joe Christensen & Kevin Healy) core tenet that all their products would always have zero grams of added sugar, MCT now has their ducks lined up to service new markets that will benefit from delicious low-carb, low sugar, high collagen protein bars that enable people to stay healthy – even while snacking or having dessert!
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