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Success Story

Helping Plant-based Fuel unlock e-commerce growth

New entrants to the healthy snack market, nutrition company Plant-based Fuel turned to the DHL Fulfillment Network to help them realize their ambitions.

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Customer Challenge

  • Startup with growth ambitions
  • Initial market established, with plans to expand

DHL Fulfillment Network Solution

  • Flexible network to allow scaling up and down
  • Integration with Shopify
  • Inventory insights tool to enable analysis of stock and sales by location

Customer Benefits

  • Growth enabled at customer’s pace
  • Global network of warehouses and fulfillment capabilities

Customer Challenge

Various YL bars

The roll call of healthy attributes of Plant-based Fuel’s product range is glowing: high fiber, gluten-free and low net carb, with no dairy, soy, palm oil or added sugar. “Our customers come to us for our premium ingredients and great taste. We know we can deliver on these things. But if we don’t deliver to their door reliably and quickly? We’ve lost them,” explains Jacques Fourie, Founder, Plant-based Fuel.

“We launched with three key products – keto vegan bars, layered protein bars and keto protein nuts – across Benelux, France and Germany,” says Jacques. They are ambitious for growth in two key areas: in their product range, and in the countries they sell to. “Our NPD team is already working on new products, and we are carrying to research to determine our next target markets, both B2C and B2B.”

DHL Fulfillment Network Solution

YL keto vegan dark choc bar

The ability to scale up was a crunch decision factor for Plant-based Fuel when choosing a logistics provider. “We really wanted to work with a major logistics player like DHL, to add to our credibility, but we never thought they would work with a startup,” admits Jacques. “However, thankfully they do! It’s exciting: it means we can start small and grow, because we have flexible access to their whole network.”

Plant-based Fuel’s webshop uses Shopify, and prior to the company’s launch with the DHL Fulfillment Network, there was a period of integration and testing, to make sure everything was working smoothly.

As with all companies, they have certain warehousing and fulfillment requirements: being in the food industry, for example, food safety standards have to be met and, with perishable goods, best practices such as FIFO (first in (-to the warehouse), first out) are carefully observed.

The team at Plant-based Fuel also benefit from DHL’s wider bulk logistics services, including shipping their keystone products – Youthful Living snacks, a South African company for which they are sole European distributor – from South Africa to their warehouse in The Netherlands. “We’re using DHL the way we want to: as a full solution across our whole company journey,” Jacques observes.

Customer Benefits

YL keto protein macadamias box

“In other companies that I have worked for and run, I have always outsourced fulfillment and I advise other businesses to do the same!” Jacques comments. “It’s a no-brainer, as logistics is very complex, and it needs dedicated skills and top-class systems. You can’t run your own business well, and also look after distribution. Put your trust in the experts instead!”

DHL’s sustainability prowess was also a significant factor for Jacques: “We like that DHL has taken important steps to reduce its carbon footprint including using energy efficient warehouses and e-vehicles. We are proud to offer our customers products that travel through a sustainable supply chain.”

As with all customers, Plant-based Fuel benefits from the DHL Fulfillment Network’s advanced inventory insights tool, which allows them to see stock levels and stock movement by location, via an intuitive dashboard. They can use this for in-depth analysis, helping them to optimize stock and sales.

Jacques says that a startup is on a discovery adventure. “Part of the experience involves finding the right partners to support you along the way. E-commerce is the future, so if you’re in that space, make sure you’ve got your fulfillment right. It should springboard you into growth!”

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