KOS with Spencer Lynn feature #25 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #25: KOS presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on KOS
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS is joined by Spencer Lynn, Northeast regional manager, of KOS. The cornerstone of human nutrition is protein, and the KOS mission begins there. They produce a vegan, plant-based protein. This is a proprietary formulation they mix in small, artisanal batches in their own lab. You won’t find KOS in your local grocery hangar, huge plastic tubs of weird powder stacked into impulse-buy pyramids. They want to get personal, have a conversation. They offer a small-batch, boutique, totally plant-based protein product made out of the good stuff that springs from the soil. Transparent ingredients transparently sourced. Their mad scientists are farmers.
The company began in 2017, but the product was first launched in 2019 via DTC and through Amazon. In a short 6 years, they have grown to nearly 50 employees. Currently, they are found nationwide in retailers such as Kroger, Walmart, Vitamin Shoppe, Whole Foods, CVS, Walgreens, Stop & Shop, ShopRite, among others. They actually just began an initial rollout at Dick's Sporting Goods as well.
KOS believes the biggest differential for their product is the taste. During our talks with Spencer, he mentioned the segment of protein users in plant vs animal stays separate usually speaking. As a result, the competition for KOS is strictly in the plant niche of protein. On top of being superior taste, the product is USDA-certified organic. Also, there are no artificial sweeteners used in any product.
They take pride in their brand and image. Spencer believes that the packaging jumps off the shelf especially compared to competitors. The company works with an award-winning graphic designer out of Colombia who creates a unique label for every SKU. Spencer equated their image to being a kid and picking out your favorite cereal box, "seeing our product on the shelf just makes you excited, it is visually appealing."
KOS has relied heavily on their loyal fan base. The user-generated reviews have been a huge component for them specifically through their Instagram and TikTok. The word-of-mouth advertising they believe is their strongest ally and they are grateful for their loyal following. The support enables them to grow not just a company, not just a brand, but a community. And this is most relevant, later on in the interview when you see the social impact they have made.
Their main focus is ascending to become the top plant-based protein in the country. Recently they have made huge strides as they have grown to #6 on the MULO (Multi Outlet) report. Speaking with Spencer he told us that the main goal for 2023 is to take over the # 5 spot. He said it won't be easy, it will require them to continue their drive and work ethic that brought them this far, but the company is eager to accomplish this lofty goal. Rapid ascent in three short years is no small feat.
Spencer was kind to share that the company is developing LTO proteins to be launched later this year. The tentative plan is 6 unique flavors and based on response and demand 1 or 2 will become permanent new additions to the product line. Stay tuned for later in 2023 to catch these LTO releases!
Partner with KLS
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For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
When talking to Spencer and learning about KOS, their biggest achievement might be sales, but not in the way you think. KOS is partnered with Feeding America. For every product sold by KOS, 1 meal is donated to Feeding America.
With April being, Earth Month (check out more of their efforts here), the CEO sent out an updated number count of meals donated on 3/31/2023. The company had donated...
3,775,968 MEALS SINCE 2019!!!!
From their website, check out their incredible mission, Project 10 Million Meals here.
And that is the beauty of this company, they combine everything- The Customers, KOS, Feeding America to ultimately give back. Everything is intertwined and it is amazing to see they are closing in on halfway to their goal! Spencer also said that they are able to partner with Feeding America to coordinate the meals to areas where the product was bought as a way to strengthen those communities.
Speaking with Spencer we asked how he found KOS. He told us that he went to the same university as the CRO of the company, Derek Dearwater. They had been in contact over the years as Spencer was in the sports nutrition industry, on the ingredient supplier side. He told us he finally got an offer he couldn't refuse and joined the team.
We asked what challenges he faced transitioning from selling to buyers needing an ingredient to now buyers wanting your product on their shelves. "It was a bit tough just learning the lingo, jargon, the math of the retail side. But I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Derek and Mike Remes, National Sales Director. Those two are so brilliant and the amount of guidance, coaching, education I have received is incredible. They made the transition seamless, I joke I should be paying them money for the tutelage I've received."
And that is just a small aspect of what makes KOS so special in Spencer's eyes. When asked about the culture you could just see the joy and happiness across his face and demeanor. "Not one bad thing to say, everything is great, a lot of us work remotely which creates a laid-back situation, but we all work so hard and grind and that is evident by our growth and success. Our communication across the board is excellent and it allows us to continue to reach new heights."
That level of trust and commitment translates to production as well. Spencer was tasked with telling us his favorite aspect of being a part of the KOS team and he referenced it is the wins they get to celebrate. From meeting with a category manager and pitching them, then the negotiations, to the product hitting the shelf, and being able to see it in person. "Not much compares to that cycle, so much goes into it so we try not to ever take the wins for granted." There was one that was special to him that was recently just completed. He pitched at Dick's Sporting Goods headquarters in Pittsburgh. Spencer lives in Pittsburgh and grew up in the area. He told us how when he was little that was one of his fondest memories of traveling to Dick's Sporting Goods with his family prior to sport season to gear up. "To be able to now years later pitch to them, complete the sale, build a new partnership. Full circle." We joked, we were typing full circle in our notes the minute he said it. Perfect timing!
We followed that incredible story up and asked Spencer to one-up it if he could. He told us Dick's Sporting Goods pitch always comes to mind, but there was another one recently. Wakefern, they began pitching in March 2022. Due to some restructuring, they ended up going through three category managers over the year. Each time a new manager came on board, KOS had to restart the process. After 13 months the product is finally going to be on the shelf April 23. Spencer told us that level of dedication and perseverance makes it all worth it.
Interested in being featured with "Together Talks"?
KLS is booking our upcoming schedule now!
Contact us as we would love to learn your story and share it amongst our audience.
Weekly we provide 2 companies our platform to expand their reach courtesy of our campaign. Let's collaborate!!!
Super fun chat with Spencer and thank you for sharing the KOS story with us. A great edition for today's "Together Talks". Keep up to date with KOS from their social media below:
KOS also has their own blog, check it out here!
Additionally, if you're still on the fence see where Forbes Health named them one of the best vegan protein powders here.
Klimson Logistics Solutions - KOS with Spencer Lynn feature #25 of Together Talks
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign "Together Talks" if you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
Our precise and reliable effort.
We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
What makes KLS different?
There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
Our company also runs a year long charity promotion. Book your first shipment through KLS and we donate to the charity of your choice in your name. Our way of thanking you for giving us an opportunity to show you the KLS way and what makes us one of a kind. This entire package is what we offer to every prospect and every client. Our goal is to help provide answers that customers may have when it comes to shipping. We want to always be available as a resource and will always offer a lending hand whenever we can.