Customer Stories7 min
From top 50 to top 5 in under 30 days: Kumana’s meteoric rise in Best Seller Rank with Perpetua
By Kristie Schmuck on March 20, 2019
Cultivated by a deep passion for food and its power to bring people together, LA-based Avocado Sauce by Kumana Foods has become a product sought after and loved by many.
Since launching in 2017, Francisco Pavan has carved out a niche in the competitive and highly-saturated hot sauce category for his Venezuelan-inspired flavors.
Kumana has humble beginnings as a home recipe shared with friends. Today, Kumana shares shelf space with major CPG brands in 7 of the largest national retailers across the United States, including Kroegers and Albertsons, and is ranked top 5 in hot sauce on Amazon.
Since launching on Amazon with Perpetua, Francisco has seen the following results:
Scaled spend to climb Best Seller Rank from top 50 to top 5 in 30 days
50% time savings
Strengthened brand identity
The challenge: Launching an emerging brand on Amazon.
Francisco Pavan first came to America in 2005. After an early career in finance, Francisco joined the family business and began to travel across 3 separate continents. In his travels, Francisco began to appreciate the unifying nature of food and how each culture varies so significantly.
His travels led him to a career in Japan, where he had an opportunity to learn from one of the most efficient companies in the world.
He loved his job and colleagues in Japan but living 13 time zones away from everyone he knew was proving to be a challenge.
When I was feeling lonely I would go to an American restaurant or a coffee shop. It made me immediately feel comfortable and a little closer to home. That’s the power of food - it can transport you anywhere in the world in a second. This is when I decided to move back to LA and start a career in the food industry - Francisco Pavan
Francisco moved to LA from Tokyo, and in his time there, started to feel nostalgic for the flavors from his home in Venezuela. He searched high and low for the flavor profile he was craving, and when he couldn’t find it in grocery stores, he decided to make his own.
We grew up making this sauce. Each Sunday at home, families in Venezuela would bring their own recipe to a big BBQ in the community. When I started making my sauce for friends here, they loved it. One of my friends insisted we send it home to his parents in North Carolina. When they raved about it and shared it with their friends, I knew it could have a broader appeal than just a few kids back in California. - Francisco Pavan
When Kumana first launched, they sold exclusively on Amazon, without any advertising. After briefly pausing their online efforts to focus on a push to retail, Francisco decided to resume selling on Amazon but with a carefully selected partner and strategy.
I was looking for a way to optimize and work smarter with ads. While ads appear simple on the front-end, they are a monster on a day-to-day basis. So many competitors, so many keywords, so many bids, and the market is constantly changing. If you’re not in the backend of Amazon every hour of every day, you’re not going to win. - Francisco Pavan
The solution: Using Perpetua to climb BSR and generate sales momentum on Amazon.
After launching Amazon Ads with Perpetua - Francisco was able to gain insights into the buying behavior of his customers. The lightbulb moment came when he noticed that his highest likely to convert keywords were strongly trending towards the Hot Sauce category (not Avocado Sauce).
Amazon Ads and Perpetua led us to that AHA moment. Using those keyword insights, we optimized the copy on our pages, on our labels, on everything. That’s where we discovered that if we’re hot it’s worth calling it a hot sauce. - Francisco Pavan
On December 19, 2019, Francisco had a simple and ambitious goal - to become a top 10 best selling hot sauce on Amazon. To achieve this goal, he knew that effectively investing in advertising was going to be a key piece of the strategy.
In Francisco’s case, these insights led to revenue and the growth of his brand.
For the consumer, category fit helps them understand how to use your product. You don’t need to explain it and there’s already need. Before we gained traction, nobody was going to Amazon or to the Supermarket looking for Avocado Sauce - they were looking for Hot Sauce.
Advertising on Amazon has helped hone our messaging towards our retail and our consumers because we are able to see what keywords are hitting (what people are searching and what the conversion rate is per keyword). We’re able to see what people like in our product. - Francisco Pavan
The results: Strong Amazon performance leads to scale for Francisco's emerging brand
After launching several new campaigns with Perpetua, the Perpetua Ad Engine quickly began testing many keywords and optimizing bids. In less than 30 days, Kumana was able to grow sales by +330% while keeping ACoS levels within their target.
This increased sales velocity led Kumana to reach the Top 5 spot in the Hot Sauce Category and continued to increase organic distribution for his products.
The impact was quick and significant. Francisco is now able to open new channels with major retailers, who look to Amazon as a leading indicator of what’s in demand.
Being able to say we’re number 5 in hot sauce is a great lead because Amazon is a credible barometer of what’s selling. - Francisco Pavan
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