#1 Frozen Fruit Brand Wyman’s E-Commerce Punches Above its Size

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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.

Mark Nelson

Mark is CEO of PSS with responsibility for setting the strategic vision of PSS. He is a seasoned business executive and serial entrepreneur. Mark is passionate about growing new businesses and through the PSS platform is helping other CPG companies grow their eCommerce businesses and brands.

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