How Ample Foods Brought 13% Cost Savings to Their Bottom Line With ShipBob’s Fulfillment [Case Study]

Learn how meal replacement and nutrition company Ample Foods uses ShipBob’s software and fulfillment services to save money, bring 2-day shipping to more customers, and seamlessly launch new products. 

Customer Profile

Based in San Francisco, Ample Foods combines the latest nutrition science with wholesome, real-food ingredients for a great-tasting complete meal replacement. They strive to make it easy and fast to achieve optimal nutrition at your desk or on the go. Their products are made with a combination of meticulously-sourced natural, grass-fed, and organic ingredients.

Key metrics:

  • 103% increase in 2-day ground shipping coverage for customers, as compared to having only a single West Coast facility
  • 13% cost savings to their bottom line by distributing inventory to be near customers

Ample Foods Founder, Connor Young, was working in a co-op community. He and a couple of friends there wanted to eat healthy while working long hours. He made them a drinkable meal that aligned with emerging research. His friends liked it and responded so positively that Ample was born.

Connor took his idea to Indiegogo and created a crowdfunding project in 2016. Within weeks, he made history. Ample ended up being the number one most funded nutrition project on Indiegogo at the time, raising $370,640.

They went on to raise another $4 million in funding from investors. Ample has since pushed forward with their mission to make optimal nutrition simple and accessible, so people everywhere can lead healthier, more productive lives.

Their customers range from busy students and professionals who want to eat well, to families that have no time for a traditional, healthy meal.

With Ample Foods, you just add water, shake, and have a quick, healthy breakfast or lunch in a bottle ready in 30 seconds or less.

Each formula is backed by a unique, carefully developed macronutrient profile with the right ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber to keep you full and energized for four hours or more.

This makes Ample perfect for those on a keto diet, those who want to hit the gym, and those who want to pull a meal out of their carry-on during a flight.

We sat down with Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods to learn how they achieved their success and explosive growth.

Switching 3PLs to gain a trustworthy partner

As told to ShipBob by Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods.

Before I joined Ample, the team was working with a competing 3PL that had a good distribution network but did not keep promises and had a lot of order errors.

As an emerging company, brand recognition and loyalty were key to our business, so we ultimately decided to move to ShipBob.

I joined the company in September 2018 when we were in the process of transitioning to ShipBob. From day one, we’ve appreciated the hands-on time spent with us.

ShipBob has been a great partner as Ample has grown. This is all really due to a team of people at ShipBob.

They provide us with specific reporting that helped Ample make decisions that directly benefited the health of our business.

Our Account Manager has worked hard to understand our needs and offered more flexibility than other 3PLs. They have used their expertise to give us business-specific solutions that have really made a difference.

“Some of the reports that ShipBob provides show their dedication to transparency — things like actual transit times and whether they’re hitting their service-level agreements. They are really committed to their customers and keeping themselves accountable.”

Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods

Aligning with our tech stack

ShipBob has an easy integration with Shopify. It’s been very simple for us to manage subscription orders, which have become a big part of our business. We’ve made a huge push toward incorporating Ample Foods into people’s daily diets and routine.

Thankfully, ShipBob partners with a lot of the tools we use like ReCharge, Klaviyo, Yotpo, and Brightpearl. ShipBob works hand in hand with us, while developing new APIs and updating technology.

Internally, we strive to be very data-driven and constantly use metrics that are so important to our business. ShipBob has grown tremendously in the analytics area, giving us access to different views of our business.

Their analytics tool has been great to have. We can see inventory reconciliations and easily view SKU velocity, transit times, and inventory distribution recommendations.

ShipBob also provides the storage conditions we need to ensure our highest-quality food products are stored and delivered to our customers in a safe and effective manner.

Offering an Amazon-like experience while building our brand

We just expanded into ShipBob’s Pennsylvania facility and are also using ShipBob’s new flagship fulfillment center in Moreno Valley, California. Storing inventory in different regions is key to reducing costs and transit times.

“From expanding into a second ShipBob fulfillment center, we are excited to be able to offer 65% of our customers with 2-day shipping, up from 32% by only having a single West Coast facility. Soon, this will be 100%. Not only is this better for our customers but we also gain a 13% savings to our bottom line.”

Pablo Gabatto, Business Operations Manager at Ample Foods

Speed is important to customers. We currently use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) for our Amazon orders, but there are limitations. We want to offer a custom experience for our customers and we can’t do that at a reasonable cost with Amazon.

It’s difficult to have remarketing capabilities; There’s less flexibility, and everything has to be pre-packaged and pre-kitted. The flexibility to offer various combinations of products to our customers that we don’t get on Amazon has been really beneficial through ShipBob. This way, our customers can get various combinations of our products that best fit into their lifestyle.

ShipBob has also worked with us to develop technical capabilities so we can have any combination of our product offerings placed into our variously sized custom branded boxes.

What’s next for Ample Foods?

Over the summer, we launched new bulk formats of our original, ketogenic, and plant-based formulas and have seen great customer response.

We will soon be launching the much-requested chocolate version of our Original and Ketogenic lines. ShipBob helps us offer these new flavor combinations to our customers with hardly any extra effort on our part.

Our focus is to grow our business, and that will not be achieved by packing up orders, sending out boxes, and dealing with enormous carriers like FedEx and UPS ourselves.

That’s what ShipBob has mastered. We want to focus on engaging with our customers, building our community, and continually developing new products that keep pace with science and customer needs. ShipBob lets us do just that.

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