With at-home snacking on the rise, here’s how one B2B business shifted online.

With at-home snacking on the rise, here’s how one B2B business shifted online.

By
Arman Anatürk
April 10, 2020

All this time at home is making us hungry. The temptation of popping into the kitchen between meals for a quick bite is too tasty to resist and snacking is on the rise. But it’s not just cookies and pretzel wrappers on our desks. Today's consumers are looking for healthy and functional options that not only fill their sweet and salty desires but help keep them energised and focused as they work from home.

Siradis, a snack and beverage distribution platform based in Lausanne, Switzerland has been at the forefront of this snacking surge, seeing a 6-fold increase in online website visits. I spoke with their team to find out how the coronavirus has impacted their business and their advice to other businesses just starting out online.

EC0DEE67-6C2C-4EBC-BC84-B0A15B9ABDA6.JPG
Source: Siradis

  • Where were you when news of the coronavirus spread?

    Sheldon
    : At the time we were in Los Angeles on our way to attend Expo West, which as it turned out, ended up getting cancelled last minute. The reaction to the situation in the US then was slower than in Europe, people were strolling around the beaches of LA whilst we were receiving news from friends and business partners back in Switzerland that the situation was quickly escalating.

    It was a bit stressful seeing it all unfold and being abroad. It took a week, but we eventually ended up getting on one of the last planes back home.


  • What did you have planned for Expo West ?

    Sheldon
    : Expo West for us was a benchmarking trip and a dive into the Cali food and food tech innovation scene. We planned to go meet a couple business partners that we work with and look around at the food scene since it’s known to be trendsetting in terms of food innovation.


  • Prior to coronavirus what was the split of your B2B to B2C business

    Sheldon
    : The split pre-coronavirus was around 2% B2C and 98% B2B. Things right now are shifting very quickly to a 50 / 50 equilibrium. Of course with all restaurants, hotels, canteens, and offices being closed or operating on minimal staff, we’ve seen a massive slowdown on those channels. At the same time, we’ve also seen a significant pickup on retail, third party eCommerce partners and our own online shop.


  • What retailers are those?

    Sheldon
    : It’s everything from Coop and Manor, to organic shops like Bio c’ Bon and independent retailers that have seen volumes go up the roof recently. For third party eCommerce, we work closely with BRACK.ch one of the biggest independent eCommerce players in Switzerland and they’ve seen the same sort of pick up there too.


  • In terms of sale projections can you share the numbers on what you expected vs the actual?

    Sheldon
    : Overall we’re expecting a slight decrease in annual revenue projections due to the reduction in B2B sales. But strategically we’re optimistic about the situation. The way we see it is that it has allowed us to focus our efforts and resources on things that we wouldn't necessarily have time to do had our B2B expansion gone as planned.


  • How have your priorities changed as a result of the coronavirus?

    Sheldon
    : With the B2B side slowing down, we’ve been focussing more of our efforts on growing and managing the business to the consumer side of our operation. So that includes interacting a lot with the online community, posting more frequently, introducing new products online and opening our eshop to products that we don’t carry distribution for. Plus all our team are working shifts in the warehouse to keep up with the increased online orders.

    Pablo: Our online shop was actually just an MVP that we launched last year. The goal was to test the interest and see if it was worth investing more time and resources into. It’s something that has always been in the pipeline but the coronavirus has essentially accelerated the development of our online and direct to consumer vertical.


  • How did you adapt your team resources during this shift?  

    Sheldon
    : Luckily as we're quite a small and agile team, we were able to very quickly move our resources around to adapt to the business to consumer demand. Everyone has different roles to play but we get involved across all aspects of the business. We also had Marine, who leads our digital side of the business, fly back from Madrid to Switzerland to give us the additional capacity for growing this vertical.


  • How are your customers finding out about the eshop?

    Sheldon
    : We’ve really been building our online community with no commercial intent from day one of launching Siradis. The fact that we already have a relatively strong community has helped us accelerate the eCommerce side of things.

    Marine: Since the start of containment (March 15), our traffic has increased 6-fold. I think the online growth we’re seeing can be attributed to a number of things, from nurturing this community early on so our customers already know us, to the fact that there is confinement so more people are searching online for their favourite products.

    For us, it’s just ensuring that we can reach potential customers when they’re making these searches online. We do that by posting quite a bit through our channels and using performance marketing on social media which is working quite well and where we see ourselves investing more resources into.

    Plus we have a very active community which self generates content. When someone makes an order on our shop they’ll share something on Instagram stories too, or when their order arrives, they’ll make an unboxing video and tag us there. They’re also great when it comes to recommending products and brands for us to check out - to be honest interacting with our community is my favorite part of what we do!  

“ I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future. ” - Sheldon Jacquet

  • What are some of the changes you're seeing in the eCommerce industry right now?

    Pablo
    : We’re seeing shoppers are more actively looking for ways to purchase online. The online eCommerce industry in Switzerland has always been a bit behind in comparison to other countries like the US or UK. But this whole situation is driving people to discover that there’s actually a huge array of online shops that go beyond the big retailers that they’re used to. I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future.


  • With all these companies now jumping to sell online - is that impacting your customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

    Sheldon
    : Actually our cost of acquisition hasn't really changed - it’s a business category where especially in Switzerland companies aren’t pumping a lot of cash into advertising. So for food, especially the type of food we do, we still have a relatively low CAC. It’s also because we’re lucky to carry brands that people are actively searching for which helps contribute to keeping our CAC down.


  • What advice would you have to other food companies who are looking to launch and grow their online store?

    Pablo
    : What has worked for us is just get an MVP out there and iterate - we have this philosophy of starting without the 5-year perfect plan (that will never happen) and build from a trial and error mode. This allows us to allocate resources based on actual numbers rather than forecasts.

    Marine: Don’t neglect your community, engage with your audience, take the time to write to them and the investment will pay off.

    Sheldon: It’s all in the little things. We have this way of treating every customer the same, B2B and B2C, regardless of what they spend, they will all get the same personalized treatment from us.


  • What are some of the challenges that you're facing?

    Sheldon
    : I think it’s the same as what most companies are facing right now - cash flow. Especially for a young company like ours cash is king. As we serve many restaurants, cafes, and takeaways that are currently shut, the impact trickles onto us in the form of late payments.

    As Siradis is primarily a wholesale business, we generally carry a healthy amount of inventory at all times. So making sure that this inventory is all out before the sell-by date is something we're working on. Even though we have massive growth in the online business to consumer side and retail orders, we still have cancellations of large orders that were impossible to plan for.


  • How will this affect you guys in the long term - will you be readjusting your business strategy in the future to focus online?

    Sheldon
    : For us, the online shop and direct contact with our end consumer was always part of the vision. The great thing about B2B is that you have regular and loyal customers who purchase large quantities which makes for a steady revenue stream. When our regular channels open up again, we will need to reallocate some resources to B2B, but we intend to leave a much larger space to our online activities, which will probably grow to 10% - 20% of total revenue in comparison to the 2% that it previously was.


  • As business owners how did you guys react early on to the situation and what advice would you have to other business owners during this time?

    Pablo
    : It’s not a time to stand still, having a quick reaction is key. By now you should have got all your accounts in order, mapping out who will and won’t pay on time and understand your basic needs, like burn rate, runway and where you can cut non-essential costs.

    On a personal level, as entrepreneurs, we’re used to the ups and downs of growing a business. For us, it was just another hurdle faced on the journey. Of course, this particular challenge is unique but we try to keep a positive mindset and make the best out of it.

    If I had one takeaway advice it’s don’t get stressed about the things that you can’t have an impact on - stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy.

“Stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy. ” - Pablo Charosky

  • How did you communicate early on with the different stakeholders at Siradis?

    Pablo
    : Full transparency is the way to go. For us, we’re lucky that before the coronavirus our company was healthy and revenue was on the rise so our stakeholders are understanding that a few months of potential downturn aren’t representative of where we’re headed.


  • What’s next for Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : We’re excited to take our online eshop to the next level with the building of the 2.0 version! We’ll also be focusing more on performance marketing, and expanding our product range. We’re also working on exciting new partnerships with brands as well as local companies to extend the general scope of our activities.


  • Should brands reach out to you to get listed on Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : Absolutely, if they think they have a product that fits the Siradis vibe and portfolio ‘producers with a focus on health and nutrition’ - they should get in contact with myself or anyone else on our team.


  • Where’s the best place to follow you?

    Marine
    : We’re most active on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or check out our range of products on our eshop. You can also try to catch up with the Siratrucks and see if anything yummy falls out.


Logo AHB signature.jpg

Siradis was founded in 2014 and has been active since 2017 when Sheldon Jacquet and Pablo Charosky, two friends straight out of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne with a passion for good food quit their day jobs to dive into the entrepreneurial adventure. The platform is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in Switzerland, with an initial focus on food and drinks and currently has over 200 products in their portfolio. The company now serves over 1000 points of sale, from leading retailers and upscale hotels to restaurants, offices, and takeaways

Written by
Arman Anatürk

Lived across North America, Europe and Asia, leading to my questionable cooking style. Jumped two feet forward into the startup world in 2013, and haven't looked back since. Always on the hunt for the next story or inside scoop to cover - email me or connect on LinkedIn.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Get Event Discounts

All this time at home is making us hungry. The temptation of popping into the kitchen between meals for a quick bite is too tasty to resist and snacking is on the rise. But it’s not just cookies and pretzel wrappers on our desks. Today's consumers are looking for healthy and functional options that not only fill their sweet and salty desires but help keep them energised and focused as they work from home.

Siradis, a snack and beverage distribution platform based in Lausanne, Switzerland has been at the forefront of this snacking surge, seeing a 6-fold increase in online website visits. I spoke with their team to find out how the coronavirus has impacted their business and their advice to other businesses just starting out online.

EC0DEE67-6C2C-4EBC-BC84-B0A15B9ABDA6.JPG
Source: Siradis

  • Where were you when news of the coronavirus spread?

    Sheldon
    : At the time we were in Los Angeles on our way to attend Expo West, which as it turned out, ended up getting cancelled last minute. The reaction to the situation in the US then was slower than in Europe, people were strolling around the beaches of LA whilst we were receiving news from friends and business partners back in Switzerland that the situation was quickly escalating.

    It was a bit stressful seeing it all unfold and being abroad. It took a week, but we eventually ended up getting on one of the last planes back home.


  • What did you have planned for Expo West ?

    Sheldon
    : Expo West for us was a benchmarking trip and a dive into the Cali food and food tech innovation scene. We planned to go meet a couple business partners that we work with and look around at the food scene since it’s known to be trendsetting in terms of food innovation.


  • Prior to coronavirus what was the split of your B2B to B2C business

    Sheldon
    : The split pre-coronavirus was around 2% B2C and 98% B2B. Things right now are shifting very quickly to a 50 / 50 equilibrium. Of course with all restaurants, hotels, canteens, and offices being closed or operating on minimal staff, we’ve seen a massive slowdown on those channels. At the same time, we’ve also seen a significant pickup on retail, third party eCommerce partners and our own online shop.


  • What retailers are those?

    Sheldon
    : It’s everything from Coop and Manor, to organic shops like Bio c’ Bon and independent retailers that have seen volumes go up the roof recently. For third party eCommerce, we work closely with BRACK.ch one of the biggest independent eCommerce players in Switzerland and they’ve seen the same sort of pick up there too.


  • In terms of sale projections can you share the numbers on what you expected vs the actual?

    Sheldon
    : Overall we’re expecting a slight decrease in annual revenue projections due to the reduction in B2B sales. But strategically we’re optimistic about the situation. The way we see it is that it has allowed us to focus our efforts and resources on things that we wouldn't necessarily have time to do had our B2B expansion gone as planned.


  • How have your priorities changed as a result of the coronavirus?

    Sheldon
    : With the B2B side slowing down, we’ve been focussing more of our efforts on growing and managing the business to the consumer side of our operation. So that includes interacting a lot with the online community, posting more frequently, introducing new products online and opening our eshop to products that we don’t carry distribution for. Plus all our team are working shifts in the warehouse to keep up with the increased online orders.

    Pablo: Our online shop was actually just an MVP that we launched last year. The goal was to test the interest and see if it was worth investing more time and resources into. It’s something that has always been in the pipeline but the coronavirus has essentially accelerated the development of our online and direct to consumer vertical.


  • How did you adapt your team resources during this shift?  

    Sheldon
    : Luckily as we're quite a small and agile team, we were able to very quickly move our resources around to adapt to the business to consumer demand. Everyone has different roles to play but we get involved across all aspects of the business. We also had Marine, who leads our digital side of the business, fly back from Madrid to Switzerland to give us the additional capacity for growing this vertical.


  • How are your customers finding out about the eshop?

    Sheldon
    : We’ve really been building our online community with no commercial intent from day one of launching Siradis. The fact that we already have a relatively strong community has helped us accelerate the eCommerce side of things.

    Marine: Since the start of containment (March 15), our traffic has increased 6-fold. I think the online growth we’re seeing can be attributed to a number of things, from nurturing this community early on so our customers already know us, to the fact that there is confinement so more people are searching online for their favourite products.

    For us, it’s just ensuring that we can reach potential customers when they’re making these searches online. We do that by posting quite a bit through our channels and using performance marketing on social media which is working quite well and where we see ourselves investing more resources into.

    Plus we have a very active community which self generates content. When someone makes an order on our shop they’ll share something on Instagram stories too, or when their order arrives, they’ll make an unboxing video and tag us there. They’re also great when it comes to recommending products and brands for us to check out - to be honest interacting with our community is my favorite part of what we do!  

“ I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future. ” - Sheldon Jacquet

  • What are some of the changes you're seeing in the eCommerce industry right now?

    Pablo
    : We’re seeing shoppers are more actively looking for ways to purchase online. The online eCommerce industry in Switzerland has always been a bit behind in comparison to other countries like the US or UK. But this whole situation is driving people to discover that there’s actually a huge array of online shops that go beyond the big retailers that they’re used to. I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future.


  • With all these companies now jumping to sell online - is that impacting your customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

    Sheldon
    : Actually our cost of acquisition hasn't really changed - it’s a business category where especially in Switzerland companies aren’t pumping a lot of cash into advertising. So for food, especially the type of food we do, we still have a relatively low CAC. It’s also because we’re lucky to carry brands that people are actively searching for which helps contribute to keeping our CAC down.


  • What advice would you have to other food companies who are looking to launch and grow their online store?

    Pablo
    : What has worked for us is just get an MVP out there and iterate - we have this philosophy of starting without the 5-year perfect plan (that will never happen) and build from a trial and error mode. This allows us to allocate resources based on actual numbers rather than forecasts.

    Marine: Don’t neglect your community, engage with your audience, take the time to write to them and the investment will pay off.

    Sheldon: It’s all in the little things. We have this way of treating every customer the same, B2B and B2C, regardless of what they spend, they will all get the same personalized treatment from us.


  • What are some of the challenges that you're facing?

    Sheldon
    : I think it’s the same as what most companies are facing right now - cash flow. Especially for a young company like ours cash is king. As we serve many restaurants, cafes, and takeaways that are currently shut, the impact trickles onto us in the form of late payments.

    As Siradis is primarily a wholesale business, we generally carry a healthy amount of inventory at all times. So making sure that this inventory is all out before the sell-by date is something we're working on. Even though we have massive growth in the online business to consumer side and retail orders, we still have cancellations of large orders that were impossible to plan for.


  • How will this affect you guys in the long term - will you be readjusting your business strategy in the future to focus online?

    Sheldon
    : For us, the online shop and direct contact with our end consumer was always part of the vision. The great thing about B2B is that you have regular and loyal customers who purchase large quantities which makes for a steady revenue stream. When our regular channels open up again, we will need to reallocate some resources to B2B, but we intend to leave a much larger space to our online activities, which will probably grow to 10% - 20% of total revenue in comparison to the 2% that it previously was.


  • As business owners how did you guys react early on to the situation and what advice would you have to other business owners during this time?

    Pablo
    : It’s not a time to stand still, having a quick reaction is key. By now you should have got all your accounts in order, mapping out who will and won’t pay on time and understand your basic needs, like burn rate, runway and where you can cut non-essential costs.

    On a personal level, as entrepreneurs, we’re used to the ups and downs of growing a business. For us, it was just another hurdle faced on the journey. Of course, this particular challenge is unique but we try to keep a positive mindset and make the best out of it.

    If I had one takeaway advice it’s don’t get stressed about the things that you can’t have an impact on - stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy.

“Stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy. ” - Pablo Charosky

  • How did you communicate early on with the different stakeholders at Siradis?

    Pablo
    : Full transparency is the way to go. For us, we’re lucky that before the coronavirus our company was healthy and revenue was on the rise so our stakeholders are understanding that a few months of potential downturn aren’t representative of where we’re headed.


  • What’s next for Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : We’re excited to take our online eshop to the next level with the building of the 2.0 version! We’ll also be focusing more on performance marketing, and expanding our product range. We’re also working on exciting new partnerships with brands as well as local companies to extend the general scope of our activities.


  • Should brands reach out to you to get listed on Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : Absolutely, if they think they have a product that fits the Siradis vibe and portfolio ‘producers with a focus on health and nutrition’ - they should get in contact with myself or anyone else on our team.


  • Where’s the best place to follow you?

    Marine
    : We’re most active on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or check out our range of products on our eshop. You can also try to catch up with the Siratrucks and see if anything yummy falls out.


Logo AHB signature.jpg

Siradis was founded in 2014 and has been active since 2017 when Sheldon Jacquet and Pablo Charosky, two friends straight out of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne with a passion for good food quit their day jobs to dive into the entrepreneurial adventure. The platform is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in Switzerland, with an initial focus on food and drinks and currently has over 200 products in their portfolio. The company now serves over 1000 points of sale, from leading retailers and upscale hotels to restaurants, offices, and takeaways

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
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All this time at home is making us hungry. The temptation of popping into the kitchen between meals for a quick bite is too tasty to resist and snacking is on the rise. But it’s not just cookies and pretzel wrappers on our desks. Today's consumers are looking for healthy and functional options that not only fill their sweet and salty desires but help keep them energised and focused as they work from home.

Siradis, a snack and beverage distribution platform based in Lausanne, Switzerland has been at the forefront of this snacking surge, seeing a 6-fold increase in online website visits. I spoke with their team to find out how the coronavirus has impacted their business and their advice to other businesses just starting out online.

EC0DEE67-6C2C-4EBC-BC84-B0A15B9ABDA6.JPG
Source: Siradis

  • Where were you when news of the coronavirus spread?

    Sheldon
    : At the time we were in Los Angeles on our way to attend Expo West, which as it turned out, ended up getting cancelled last minute. The reaction to the situation in the US then was slower than in Europe, people were strolling around the beaches of LA whilst we were receiving news from friends and business partners back in Switzerland that the situation was quickly escalating.

    It was a bit stressful seeing it all unfold and being abroad. It took a week, but we eventually ended up getting on one of the last planes back home.


  • What did you have planned for Expo West ?

    Sheldon
    : Expo West for us was a benchmarking trip and a dive into the Cali food and food tech innovation scene. We planned to go meet a couple business partners that we work with and look around at the food scene since it’s known to be trendsetting in terms of food innovation.


  • Prior to coronavirus what was the split of your B2B to B2C business

    Sheldon
    : The split pre-coronavirus was around 2% B2C and 98% B2B. Things right now are shifting very quickly to a 50 / 50 equilibrium. Of course with all restaurants, hotels, canteens, and offices being closed or operating on minimal staff, we’ve seen a massive slowdown on those channels. At the same time, we’ve also seen a significant pickup on retail, third party eCommerce partners and our own online shop.


  • What retailers are those?

    Sheldon
    : It’s everything from Coop and Manor, to organic shops like Bio c’ Bon and independent retailers that have seen volumes go up the roof recently. For third party eCommerce, we work closely with BRACK.ch one of the biggest independent eCommerce players in Switzerland and they’ve seen the same sort of pick up there too.


  • In terms of sale projections can you share the numbers on what you expected vs the actual?

    Sheldon
    : Overall we’re expecting a slight decrease in annual revenue projections due to the reduction in B2B sales. But strategically we’re optimistic about the situation. The way we see it is that it has allowed us to focus our efforts and resources on things that we wouldn't necessarily have time to do had our B2B expansion gone as planned.


  • How have your priorities changed as a result of the coronavirus?

    Sheldon
    : With the B2B side slowing down, we’ve been focussing more of our efforts on growing and managing the business to the consumer side of our operation. So that includes interacting a lot with the online community, posting more frequently, introducing new products online and opening our eshop to products that we don’t carry distribution for. Plus all our team are working shifts in the warehouse to keep up with the increased online orders.

    Pablo: Our online shop was actually just an MVP that we launched last year. The goal was to test the interest and see if it was worth investing more time and resources into. It’s something that has always been in the pipeline but the coronavirus has essentially accelerated the development of our online and direct to consumer vertical.


  • How did you adapt your team resources during this shift?  

    Sheldon
    : Luckily as we're quite a small and agile team, we were able to very quickly move our resources around to adapt to the business to consumer demand. Everyone has different roles to play but we get involved across all aspects of the business. We also had Marine, who leads our digital side of the business, fly back from Madrid to Switzerland to give us the additional capacity for growing this vertical.


  • How are your customers finding out about the eshop?

    Sheldon
    : We’ve really been building our online community with no commercial intent from day one of launching Siradis. The fact that we already have a relatively strong community has helped us accelerate the eCommerce side of things.

    Marine: Since the start of containment (March 15), our traffic has increased 6-fold. I think the online growth we’re seeing can be attributed to a number of things, from nurturing this community early on so our customers already know us, to the fact that there is confinement so more people are searching online for their favourite products.

    For us, it’s just ensuring that we can reach potential customers when they’re making these searches online. We do that by posting quite a bit through our channels and using performance marketing on social media which is working quite well and where we see ourselves investing more resources into.

    Plus we have a very active community which self generates content. When someone makes an order on our shop they’ll share something on Instagram stories too, or when their order arrives, they’ll make an unboxing video and tag us there. They’re also great when it comes to recommending products and brands for us to check out - to be honest interacting with our community is my favorite part of what we do!  

“ I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future. ” - Sheldon Jacquet

  • What are some of the changes you're seeing in the eCommerce industry right now?

    Pablo
    : We’re seeing shoppers are more actively looking for ways to purchase online. The online eCommerce industry in Switzerland has always been a bit behind in comparison to other countries like the US or UK. But this whole situation is driving people to discover that there’s actually a huge array of online shops that go beyond the big retailers that they’re used to. I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future.


  • With all these companies now jumping to sell online - is that impacting your customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

    Sheldon
    : Actually our cost of acquisition hasn't really changed - it’s a business category where especially in Switzerland companies aren’t pumping a lot of cash into advertising. So for food, especially the type of food we do, we still have a relatively low CAC. It’s also because we’re lucky to carry brands that people are actively searching for which helps contribute to keeping our CAC down.


  • What advice would you have to other food companies who are looking to launch and grow their online store?

    Pablo
    : What has worked for us is just get an MVP out there and iterate - we have this philosophy of starting without the 5-year perfect plan (that will never happen) and build from a trial and error mode. This allows us to allocate resources based on actual numbers rather than forecasts.

    Marine: Don’t neglect your community, engage with your audience, take the time to write to them and the investment will pay off.

    Sheldon: It’s all in the little things. We have this way of treating every customer the same, B2B and B2C, regardless of what they spend, they will all get the same personalized treatment from us.


  • What are some of the challenges that you're facing?

    Sheldon
    : I think it’s the same as what most companies are facing right now - cash flow. Especially for a young company like ours cash is king. As we serve many restaurants, cafes, and takeaways that are currently shut, the impact trickles onto us in the form of late payments.

    As Siradis is primarily a wholesale business, we generally carry a healthy amount of inventory at all times. So making sure that this inventory is all out before the sell-by date is something we're working on. Even though we have massive growth in the online business to consumer side and retail orders, we still have cancellations of large orders that were impossible to plan for.


  • How will this affect you guys in the long term - will you be readjusting your business strategy in the future to focus online?

    Sheldon
    : For us, the online shop and direct contact with our end consumer was always part of the vision. The great thing about B2B is that you have regular and loyal customers who purchase large quantities which makes for a steady revenue stream. When our regular channels open up again, we will need to reallocate some resources to B2B, but we intend to leave a much larger space to our online activities, which will probably grow to 10% - 20% of total revenue in comparison to the 2% that it previously was.


  • As business owners how did you guys react early on to the situation and what advice would you have to other business owners during this time?

    Pablo
    : It’s not a time to stand still, having a quick reaction is key. By now you should have got all your accounts in order, mapping out who will and won’t pay on time and understand your basic needs, like burn rate, runway and where you can cut non-essential costs.

    On a personal level, as entrepreneurs, we’re used to the ups and downs of growing a business. For us, it was just another hurdle faced on the journey. Of course, this particular challenge is unique but we try to keep a positive mindset and make the best out of it.

    If I had one takeaway advice it’s don’t get stressed about the things that you can’t have an impact on - stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy.

“Stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy. ” - Pablo Charosky

  • How did you communicate early on with the different stakeholders at Siradis?

    Pablo
    : Full transparency is the way to go. For us, we’re lucky that before the coronavirus our company was healthy and revenue was on the rise so our stakeholders are understanding that a few months of potential downturn aren’t representative of where we’re headed.


  • What’s next for Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : We’re excited to take our online eshop to the next level with the building of the 2.0 version! We’ll also be focusing more on performance marketing, and expanding our product range. We’re also working on exciting new partnerships with brands as well as local companies to extend the general scope of our activities.


  • Should brands reach out to you to get listed on Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : Absolutely, if they think they have a product that fits the Siradis vibe and portfolio ‘producers with a focus on health and nutrition’ - they should get in contact with myself or anyone else on our team.


  • Where’s the best place to follow you?

    Marine
    : We’re most active on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or check out our range of products on our eshop. You can also try to catch up with the Siratrucks and see if anything yummy falls out.


Logo AHB signature.jpg

Siradis was founded in 2014 and has been active since 2017 when Sheldon Jacquet and Pablo Charosky, two friends straight out of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne with a passion for good food quit their day jobs to dive into the entrepreneurial adventure. The platform is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in Switzerland, with an initial focus on food and drinks and currently has over 200 products in their portfolio. The company now serves over 1000 points of sale, from leading retailers and upscale hotels to restaurants, offices, and takeaways

All this time at home is making us hungry. The temptation of popping into the kitchen between meals for a quick bite is too tasty to resist and snacking is on the rise. But it’s not just cookies and pretzel wrappers on our desks. Today's consumers are looking for healthy and functional options that not only fill their sweet and salty desires but help keep them energised and focused as they work from home.

Siradis, a snack and beverage distribution platform based in Lausanne, Switzerland has been at the forefront of this snacking surge, seeing a 6-fold increase in online website visits. I spoke with their team to find out how the coronavirus has impacted their business and their advice to other businesses just starting out online.

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Source: Siradis

  • Where were you when news of the coronavirus spread?

    Sheldon
    : At the time we were in Los Angeles on our way to attend Expo West, which as it turned out, ended up getting cancelled last minute. The reaction to the situation in the US then was slower than in Europe, people were strolling around the beaches of LA whilst we were receiving news from friends and business partners back in Switzerland that the situation was quickly escalating.

    It was a bit stressful seeing it all unfold and being abroad. It took a week, but we eventually ended up getting on one of the last planes back home.


  • What did you have planned for Expo West ?

    Sheldon
    : Expo West for us was a benchmarking trip and a dive into the Cali food and food tech innovation scene. We planned to go meet a couple business partners that we work with and look around at the food scene since it’s known to be trendsetting in terms of food innovation.


  • Prior to coronavirus what was the split of your B2B to B2C business

    Sheldon
    : The split pre-coronavirus was around 2% B2C and 98% B2B. Things right now are shifting very quickly to a 50 / 50 equilibrium. Of course with all restaurants, hotels, canteens, and offices being closed or operating on minimal staff, we’ve seen a massive slowdown on those channels. At the same time, we’ve also seen a significant pickup on retail, third party eCommerce partners and our own online shop.


  • What retailers are those?

    Sheldon
    : It’s everything from Coop and Manor, to organic shops like Bio c’ Bon and independent retailers that have seen volumes go up the roof recently. For third party eCommerce, we work closely with BRACK.ch one of the biggest independent eCommerce players in Switzerland and they’ve seen the same sort of pick up there too.


  • In terms of sale projections can you share the numbers on what you expected vs the actual?

    Sheldon
    : Overall we’re expecting a slight decrease in annual revenue projections due to the reduction in B2B sales. But strategically we’re optimistic about the situation. The way we see it is that it has allowed us to focus our efforts and resources on things that we wouldn't necessarily have time to do had our B2B expansion gone as planned.


  • How have your priorities changed as a result of the coronavirus?

    Sheldon
    : With the B2B side slowing down, we’ve been focussing more of our efforts on growing and managing the business to the consumer side of our operation. So that includes interacting a lot with the online community, posting more frequently, introducing new products online and opening our eshop to products that we don’t carry distribution for. Plus all our team are working shifts in the warehouse to keep up with the increased online orders.

    Pablo: Our online shop was actually just an MVP that we launched last year. The goal was to test the interest and see if it was worth investing more time and resources into. It’s something that has always been in the pipeline but the coronavirus has essentially accelerated the development of our online and direct to consumer vertical.


  • How did you adapt your team resources during this shift?  

    Sheldon
    : Luckily as we're quite a small and agile team, we were able to very quickly move our resources around to adapt to the business to consumer demand. Everyone has different roles to play but we get involved across all aspects of the business. We also had Marine, who leads our digital side of the business, fly back from Madrid to Switzerland to give us the additional capacity for growing this vertical.


  • How are your customers finding out about the eshop?

    Sheldon
    : We’ve really been building our online community with no commercial intent from day one of launching Siradis. The fact that we already have a relatively strong community has helped us accelerate the eCommerce side of things.

    Marine: Since the start of containment (March 15), our traffic has increased 6-fold. I think the online growth we’re seeing can be attributed to a number of things, from nurturing this community early on so our customers already know us, to the fact that there is confinement so more people are searching online for their favourite products.

    For us, it’s just ensuring that we can reach potential customers when they’re making these searches online. We do that by posting quite a bit through our channels and using performance marketing on social media which is working quite well and where we see ourselves investing more resources into.

    Plus we have a very active community which self generates content. When someone makes an order on our shop they’ll share something on Instagram stories too, or when their order arrives, they’ll make an unboxing video and tag us there. They’re also great when it comes to recommending products and brands for us to check out - to be honest interacting with our community is my favorite part of what we do!  

“ I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future. ” - Sheldon Jacquet

  • What are some of the changes you're seeing in the eCommerce industry right now?

    Pablo
    : We’re seeing shoppers are more actively looking for ways to purchase online. The online eCommerce industry in Switzerland has always been a bit behind in comparison to other countries like the US or UK. But this whole situation is driving people to discover that there’s actually a huge array of online shops that go beyond the big retailers that they’re used to. I think it’s a turning point for retail in Switzerland and will change the way people buy their food and other goods in the future.


  • With all these companies now jumping to sell online - is that impacting your customer acquisition cost (CAC)?

    Sheldon
    : Actually our cost of acquisition hasn't really changed - it’s a business category where especially in Switzerland companies aren’t pumping a lot of cash into advertising. So for food, especially the type of food we do, we still have a relatively low CAC. It’s also because we’re lucky to carry brands that people are actively searching for which helps contribute to keeping our CAC down.


  • What advice would you have to other food companies who are looking to launch and grow their online store?

    Pablo
    : What has worked for us is just get an MVP out there and iterate - we have this philosophy of starting without the 5-year perfect plan (that will never happen) and build from a trial and error mode. This allows us to allocate resources based on actual numbers rather than forecasts.

    Marine: Don’t neglect your community, engage with your audience, take the time to write to them and the investment will pay off.

    Sheldon: It’s all in the little things. We have this way of treating every customer the same, B2B and B2C, regardless of what they spend, they will all get the same personalized treatment from us.


  • What are some of the challenges that you're facing?

    Sheldon
    : I think it’s the same as what most companies are facing right now - cash flow. Especially for a young company like ours cash is king. As we serve many restaurants, cafes, and takeaways that are currently shut, the impact trickles onto us in the form of late payments.

    As Siradis is primarily a wholesale business, we generally carry a healthy amount of inventory at all times. So making sure that this inventory is all out before the sell-by date is something we're working on. Even though we have massive growth in the online business to consumer side and retail orders, we still have cancellations of large orders that were impossible to plan for.


  • How will this affect you guys in the long term - will you be readjusting your business strategy in the future to focus online?

    Sheldon
    : For us, the online shop and direct contact with our end consumer was always part of the vision. The great thing about B2B is that you have regular and loyal customers who purchase large quantities which makes for a steady revenue stream. When our regular channels open up again, we will need to reallocate some resources to B2B, but we intend to leave a much larger space to our online activities, which will probably grow to 10% - 20% of total revenue in comparison to the 2% that it previously was.


  • As business owners how did you guys react early on to the situation and what advice would you have to other business owners during this time?

    Pablo
    : It’s not a time to stand still, having a quick reaction is key. By now you should have got all your accounts in order, mapping out who will and won’t pay on time and understand your basic needs, like burn rate, runway and where you can cut non-essential costs.

    On a personal level, as entrepreneurs, we’re used to the ups and downs of growing a business. For us, it was just another hurdle faced on the journey. Of course, this particular challenge is unique but we try to keep a positive mindset and make the best out of it.

    If I had one takeaway advice it’s don’t get stressed about the things that you can’t have an impact on - stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy.

“Stress is useful for getting things done but otherwise it’s just a waste of energy. ” - Pablo Charosky

  • How did you communicate early on with the different stakeholders at Siradis?

    Pablo
    : Full transparency is the way to go. For us, we’re lucky that before the coronavirus our company was healthy and revenue was on the rise so our stakeholders are understanding that a few months of potential downturn aren’t representative of where we’re headed.


  • What’s next for Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : We’re excited to take our online eshop to the next level with the building of the 2.0 version! We’ll also be focusing more on performance marketing, and expanding our product range. We’re also working on exciting new partnerships with brands as well as local companies to extend the general scope of our activities.


  • Should brands reach out to you to get listed on Siradis?

    Sheldon
    : Absolutely, if they think they have a product that fits the Siradis vibe and portfolio ‘producers with a focus on health and nutrition’ - they should get in contact with myself or anyone else on our team.


  • Where’s the best place to follow you?

    Marine
    : We’re most active on Instagram but you can also find us on Facebook or check out our range of products on our eshop. You can also try to catch up with the Siratrucks and see if anything yummy falls out.


Logo AHB signature.jpg

Siradis was founded in 2014 and has been active since 2017 when Sheldon Jacquet and Pablo Charosky, two friends straight out of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne with a passion for good food quit their day jobs to dive into the entrepreneurial adventure. The platform is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable lifestyle in Switzerland, with an initial focus on food and drinks and currently has over 200 products in their portfolio. The company now serves over 1000 points of sale, from leading retailers and upscale hotels to restaurants, offices, and takeaways

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