Wyman’s, the frozen fruit experts, is a well-established, 150-year-old company with a small and mighty e-commerce start-up. Still family-owned with roots in the wild blueberry barrens of Maine and Canada, Wyman’s flash-frozen fruits are widely available in local groceries.
Wild blueberries contain more fiber and antioxidants than cultivated blueberries, and each wild berry has a unique flavor profile. They are never planted but have grown natively in the Maine barrens for 10,000 years.
In support of this ancient legacy, Wyman’s is a progressive company with a pipeline of fruitful innovations and environmental stewardship. Their e-commerce operation has lots of room to grow, and its data is already enhancing their traditional grocery business.
Wyman’s E-Commerce Beginnings
When it comes to e-commerce, Wyman’s believes that it is just scratching the surface. The impetus for their online business was the COVID-19 pandemic, which created a surge in consumer demand for their frozen fruit. However, the pandemic also caused some distribution disruptions and spotty product shortages at groceries. This problem had to be solved – homebound consumers still wanted their smoothies and had more time to bake!
E-Commerce Goes Live
By November 2020 Wyman’s had their online store up and running, built on Shopify’s cloud-based platform. To reach consumers and build awareness, Marketing employed social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook, along with calls to their customer service group.
Initially, Wyman’s-commerce team ran the numbers to fulfill shipping in-house, but with headquarters in Maine near Acadia National Park it was logistically impossible for frozen fruit to reach most areas of the country without expensive 2-day air.
Perishable Shipping Solutions’ expertise in specialized handling for cold and frozen foods and their strategically located fulfillment centers presented an ideal turnkey solution for affordable, 2-day ground shipping to U.S. consumers. Wanting a smooth purchasing experience and to avoid “nickel and diming” buyers, Wyman’s included shipping costs in their posted website prices.
Retail Operations Find E-Commerce Benefits
According to Patrick Carroll, Wyman’s VP Marketing, their e-commerce and grocery channels are proving to be quite synergistic. With a big pipeline of innovations to introduce, Wyman’s is taking advantage of their young e-commerce business to learn about and test consumer preferences. Because this feedback is directly based on “food in mouth,” it is more accessible and accurate than traditional market research.
Digital e-commerce data also informs strategy with their retail grocery presence, providing leading indicators of trends and geographic demand. For example, if there is no (or limited) brick-and-mortar retail presence in an area with high online demand, Wyman’s can alert a grocery’s buyers and provide useful e-commerce data.
Even in the early stages of their e-commerce program Wyman’s is finding that the new revenue stream, serving customers where they live and deepening their understanding of customer trends and behaviors are valuable contributors to their brand.
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