Minor figures drives new product development with elm

Minor Figures

The brand: Minor Figures

Minor Figures was created in 2014 to fill a gap in the market for premium iced coffees. They’ve since redeveloped their range to be vegan, diversified to offer oat milk as a standalone product and recently became a carbon neutral business. Today, you’ll find them in about 4,500 speciality coffee shops, as well as the big retailers. Minor Figures is operational in 24 countries, with offices in London, Australia and LA.

Ben Vear, Head of Sales, explains how elm is triggering company-wide actions at Minor Figures, driving new product development and giving them better visibility on data:

The Problem

Lack of visibility

“Sales can be a bit of a mystery for the brand. The challenge in a fast growing business is often visibility, so we were on the hunt for systems and processes that would bring clarity and support growth. You have to understand how you’re selling and where you’re selling. And that was often the missing link for us.”

Time-intensive processes

“Retail data systems are pretty archaic – the Waitrose Connect platform has been the same for 10 years, which just blows my mind. The current systems are just not user friendly. They take up a lot of time, the data is difficult to interpret and you generally only get a surface-level story.”

“Retail data systems are pretty archaic. They take up a lot of time, the data is difficult to interpret and you generally only get a surface-level story.”

Siloed data analysis

“Before elm, our data analysis was siloed from account to account. Yes, we had access to Waitrose, CLF and Ocado’s systems, but we had no easy way of bringing that together to actually spot company-wide patterns. That also led to delays – if my Waitrose account manager happened to be out of the office for a couple of weeks, I might not get a feel for what was going on for three or four weeks.”

The solution

Visibility across every account

“elm gives us visibility on where we’re performing and where we aren’t, to help us make corrective actions and measure the impact of our marketing. elm stood out above other solutions because it combines physical retail, ecomm and wholesale – I haven’t seen a platform that does all three wings of the sales mix. By unifying physical retail with Amazon, Ocado and Shopify, elm offers a tech-first approach to the new world of fmcg. The collation of all our sales accounts means we can easily spot company-wide patterns.”

“elm offers a tech-first approach to the new world of FMCG.”

Powerful ecommerce insights

“We’ve seen a 40 X growth in our Shopify sales this year. Almost overnight, it was super important to be able to analyse and cut the data and see where that growth was coming from, where we were losing sales, and where we were with acquiring customers.”

“elm’s LTV feature allows us to look at cohorts of customers, where they’re coming from, and how long they’re staying with the brand. It also shows us which part of the product range is driving the most value. As a subscription coffee business, those elements are really powerful for us.”


– Minor Figures is saving an estimated 4-6 hours per week

– 100% of the sales team is now using data, up from just 10%

– The brand is launching a semi-skimmed oat milk based on elm’s insights

Company-wide solutions

“Before elm, our data processes were siloed. Our Waitrose account manager might suggest we increase promotions, whilst a CLF account manager might push for a Field Sales drive. With elm’s unified view, we can now identify and deliver bigger, company-wide actions if we need to.”

Timely actions

“We were recently on promotion with Waitrose when our elm dashboard told us that week-on-week sales had dropped significantly, along with ROS and overall sales value – our Swing Store report showed a lot of stores in decline, too.

“The entire sales team took action there and then. All nine of us got out to visit stores, from our regional reps to me in my Vauxhall Astra. We quickly figured out that they had literally no stock in any stores. We were then able to provide evidence of a supply chain issue to Waitrose, which triggered a big reorder and a corrective action at their ends. With elm, we were able to identify and solve the problem perhaps five days earlier than we would have otherwise.”

Using data to drive new product development

“Seeing elm’s trend lines on our product range is also influencing our new product development pipeline. We saw that organic milk was proving more popular than we’d have anticipated, and that our wellness-related products are actually growing at a faster rate than others.

“Thanks to elm’s trend data, we were able to prioritise releasing products that fell within that category. As a result, this month we’re excited to announce a brand new wellness-oriented product: our first ever semi-skimmed oat milk.”



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