Family owned farm sees big sales boost after going Fast
Founded in 1982, SunRidge Farms is a family-owned and operated business that manufactures and distributes organic and natural foods. The Royal Oaks, California-based company makes and packages nuts, seeds, dried fruit, candies, and snack and trail mixes.
The company began as a small organic foods distributor with one in-house trail mix called “Hit The Trail” mix that was produced in 55-gallon garbage bins in the owners’ garage.
“SunRidge Farms is designed to provide clean ingredient foods to retailers starting with natural food stores and now mainstream grocery retailers and private label manufacturing for other brands,” said Greg Koenig, head of e-commerce at Sunridge. “Our other distinction is our focus on bulk foods to reduce the use of plastics and other materials thus reducing our carbon footprint.”
SunRidge Farms has championed and practiced sustainability efforts during all of its 40 years in operation. “Before all the current 'talk' of carbon reduction, sustainability choices, etc., we were doing it,” Koenig said. “Our factory is solar-powered, and any additional energy is sourced responsibly. Our fleet of trucks are biodiesel and one day will be all-electric. We even pay our employees $5 every day they ride their bikes to work.”
“A lot of people have worked here for over 10 years, so they have seen families grow up.”
The environmentally friendly business is just as meticulous about building and maintaining strong customer relationships.
“We engage with our retail customers with a hands-on approach with their bulk foods options from signage to bin labels,” Koenig said. “This allows their customers (consumers) to find what they need and easily get it.”
SunRidge’s approach particularly comes in handy in the midst of a global pandemic.
“This hands-on approach allowed us to have the relationships necessary to pivot during Covid to put our packages on that equipment in their stores,” Koenig said. “As bulk returns, the retailer can opt to keep the packaging in addition to the bulk. Also, we engage with our online consumers with fresh content and social media efforts to help them recognize our branding and that the bulk foods they've been buying for years have actually been SunRidge Farms items.”
What SunRidge is doing apparently works. The company packages thousands of orders monthly, using freight carriers of all sizes from full truckloads to small USPS parcels.
”We installed it and saw nothing but success instantly. People started using it right away.”
“One of our big things is reduce, reuse, and recycle,” Melville said. “Even with all of our web sales, we use recycled shipping and packaging equipment. We reuse boxes as they come in. We reuse bubble wrap, we use all recycled paper, and recycled plastic.”
Another key to building trust with customers is a hassle-free checkout experience. In late 2020, a representative from Fast, a one-click checkout service, reached out to Ski Haus about installing the Fast Checkout button onto its website. Fast Checkout processes all orders in a matter of seconds. Customers simply have to add their payment and shipping information once, Fast then securely saves that data, and all future purchases on a website can be completed in one click, increasing sales.
Melville said she personally was intrigued by the idea of Fast Checkout.
“The less information I have to enter, the better for me,” she said. “If I don't have to create an account and fumble around to get my card, I'm way more likely to buy something.”
Fast Checkout did not disappoint. With the new checkout option, Ski Haus saw a 174% conversion increase.
”We installed it and saw nothing but success instantly,” she said. “People started using it right away.”
Looking forward, Ski Haus wants to expand from the East Coast to the West Coast and into Canada. Having Fast Checkout will play a crucial role, Melville said.
“People just instinctively think to shop online rather than going into the store, so we want to be able to compete with those big-box stores and with manufacturers,” she said. “So the more we branch out and the more customers we get, the better.”
It’s been exciting to watch the wide range of businesses installing Fast Checkout over the last couple months –– everything from solopreneurs to larger enterprises with $100M+ in annual sales. Stay tuned for more case studies at fast.co/stories.