MALK with Adria Campbell feature #54 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #54: MALK presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on MALK
Today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the privilege to interview MALK and the VP of Sales, Adria Campbell. At MALK, they like to KEEP IT SIMPLE! From ingredient sourcing, to recipe and packaging design, MALK believe in transparency. Their products are dairy-, gum-, filler-, gluten-, oil-, GMO- and lactose-free. No carrageenan. No binders. No colors or sweeteners Mother Nature wouldn't recognize. Made with six ingredients or less and an abundance of organic nuts or oats in every bottle, using the whole nut or oat to retain all the nutrients without losing any of the flavor. They're easy to pronounce, easy to count, and easy to love: MALK ingredients are certified organic whole foods sourced with care for you, your family, and the environment.
Go ahead, turn that bottle around and see what they we're made of. We’ve got nothing to hide. #turnitaround
We love our logo, but the back of the bottle is where the real action is. Our ingredient information isn’t a legal disclaimer, it’s a full-on brag. When you’ve got nothing to hide, it’s easy to show ‘em what you’re made of. Not sure other plant-milks will be bragging much about gellan gum and dipotassium phosphate.
They find joy in discussing detailed nutritional specifics, which helps them make the world’s finest plant-based milks. Ingredients are their singular passion. From Organic Vanilla Extract to Himalayan Pink Salt, they are committed to sourcing only the cleanest ingredients, and using few enough at a time that that you can count ‘em all on one hand.
At MALK, they pour every ounce of energy into creating the best tasting plant-based milk on Earth. So splash it in your coffee, dress up your smoothie, or turn your next bowl of granola into a bowl of greatness. Making healthy choices never tasted so good.
MALK is also committed to supporting our customers on their personal wellness journey. That means they will always be 100% transparent about their ingredients and processes — now and forever. Refreshing, right?
No cheap ingredients. No marketing half-truths. No oils, no gums — no artificial anything. And no cutting corners. Ever. That’s a lot of no’s, but saying no is why so many people say yes to MALK. It’s not easy saying no all the time. If it were, everyone would be making MALK. And trust us, they’re not. Just look at their labels.
MALK was founded in 2014 and is currently found nationwide with a few of their partners including: Whole Foods, Sprouts, Publix, HEB, and Kroger. MALK's competition is in the plant-based milk segment. Where MALK separates themselves is through their commitment to focusing on ingredients. As Adria shared with us, "Our hero sku is our unsweetened almond milk which has 3 ingredients: Organic almonds, filtered water, Himalayan salt." Every product is certified-organic and clean ingredients. MALK never strays away from being health forward which is validated by their commitment to never add anything that will impact their clean label. The clean label is what has MALK stand above the competition and they aren't afraid to show it!
The company has a great presence with their social platforms. In our chat, Adria shared, "When I joined our TikTok was around 500 followers, it is over 90,000 currently!" Recently they have made a splash with their influencer partnerships, which have proven to be fruitful. The company last year started their #turnitaround campaign, which has been incredibly productive for MALK!
Partner with KLS
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Our nationwide coverage provides companies a reliable, consistent, and dependable logistics partner to handle your trucking needs.
For more information on how we can help call our office today 708-980-0920 or reach us via our email quote request here!
Adria told us, "MALK has come a long way since refreshing their branding in late 2021. The new packaging proudly brings to the forefront MALK's commitment to quality, while connecting with the consumer in a refreshing way. Getting the packaging right was extremely important to MALK as they looked to disrupt the highly competitive Plant-Based Milk Category Leaders." They followed that up in Q1 of 2022 implementing their new campaign, #turnitaround.
Example 1, courtesy MALK's Facebook, click here.
A shout out in Forbes, for the new MALK campaign, click here!
How about MALK's Instagram content, click here.
We mentioned MALK's TikTok growth, this was a big part of it, click here.
Labels matter and MALK is all about showing them off! Adria shared with us that this campaign helped contribute to the growth of the company in distribution as well as the number of stores doubled. She also shared, "We knew we were on to something because we were seeing competition in the space trying to emulate what we were doing with marketing." But quite possibly the most impressive feat was the marketing campaign that was completed blind.
Earlier this year, MALK went to a farmer's market to operate a blind taste test for consumers. The set up was simple, each brand was completely covered and the patrons were asked which milk they wanted to try based simply off of the ingredients listed. But there was a catch...MALK didn't have any advertising, that's right they did it undercover. Watch the YouTube clip below!
Never anything artificial. EVER.
Adria told us that the transparency of the ingredients is the core of MALK. It all ties together, their marketing, their ingredients, their presentation, their product. Everything comes together to promote their goal of providing simple, true, reliable, and clean consumption. The commitment to displaying and echoing their purpose of being the premier clean option for plant-based milk. The transparency displayed by MALK doesn't only apply to output, but also internally as well.
We asked Adria to describe the culture of MALK and her response was surprising, "The best I have ever been a part of, hands down." What makes that such a powerful response is Adria's time with MALK, she has been there a little under two years, and her history in the dairy industry. She previously worked with Dean Foods for over 12 years where she worked with emerging brands. That is where she realized her passion in the space was working with companies that were kicking at the door ready to knock it down.
We asked what brought Adria to MALK, she explained, "Dean possessed such a large portfolio of brands, in my last five years there they were heavy in M&A. But I found working with these emerging brands it brought a sense of fun and newness. The opportunity for MALK came about and it was a perfect fit and match. I believed that MALK was in the right spot to start this meteoric rise, with leadership and a supporting team that were both really strong. The chance to jump aboard and run with this brand, I couldn't pass it up". One year and eight months later, Adria was full of pride for how well the company has been doing and is even more excited for what is to come in 2024.
In speaking with her about the transition we asked if there was any fear or concern, she said naturally there always is when you go to something new, but in her career she has learned one valuable piece of advice, "let the data tell a story". She used that analysis to review the opportunity MALK possessed. She said the first core element was the fact that MALK was #1 at Whole Foods, "Simply put, they were dominating there", she told us. In addition to that success, their other three top stores all showed strong velocities. This led Adria to believe that MALK was on the right path to get into more points of distribution and the data was again supporting this. Adria told us, "Like I said, it was the perfect fit and match. MALK needed someone to put gas on the fire."
Current Support + Future Adaptions
Adria commended the strength of the culture and said it started with at the top with CEO, Jason Bronstad (check out the podcasts at the end of the article, Jason is featured a few times!). She stated the company believes in work life balance with both being intertwined and harmonious. That mindset trickles down leadership and throughout each team of MALK. The goal is for the efforts at work to provide energy boost for the aspects of life and vice versa, as Adria explained, "Rarely do you experience the Sunday Scaries at MALK". Sounds like the dream!
We asked Adria her favorite part (she said this is tough), but after some contemplating she said outside of the sheer winning of MALK as a whole, they participate in a Slack Channel called MALK My Day. Companywide the agenda is to post the wins and it pings frequently throughout the day per Adria. But the interactions, common goals, and overall winning of the company is one of the aspects that is most fun for Adria. The autonomy and trust to complete whatever challenge is presented gives the ability to feel like you own the day. Adria said this is so critical and fulfilling.
Adria informed us the coolest aspect of the #turnitaround campaign is the different iterations that are planned by MALK. Like the blind test at the farmer's market, they are excited to continue to peel back the curtain for consumers to make sure they fully know what they are consuming at any moment. That is the entire goal of the #turnitaround campaign to flip your favorite food around and understand exactly what is in it. The education of consumers will continue to be a challenge, but one that is so important to MALK's continued brand awareness and growth.
With so many wins we were curious if Adria had a favorite one in her time at MALK, she said one that maybe isn't favorite but was pivotal was when the company found out all 6 skus would be placed in Sprouts. "That was a really good moment that was validating. And it happened so fast. Almost overnight we became Sprouts #1 brand." She told us the journey with Sprouts took a little over a year, where little by little expansion was happening and then it was like boom, the flood gates opened. She also celebrated how the various teams have worked together when things didn't go to plan. Rather than it serving as a setback, they find ways to adapt and make a positive impact in other channels which just strengthens the foundation of the company.
Check out Adria's LinkedIn post about the recent success of MALK at Sprouts!
Our conversation ended with Adria asking her two questions.
First, we asked her to crystal ball it for us, what is the goal for MALK and she told us that hopefully one day MALK is accessible anywhere consumers shop. Their consumer base shop in multiple outlets and they'd love to be accessible and available for their base.
Second, with all of her experience in sales, we asked Adria for one piece of advice she'd give, she explained, "Grow slow, accelerate fast. Don't move on from a channel or retailer you're focused on. It is so easy to want as much distribution as possible, but if you get it too quickly and prior to building the brand awareness or velocity in the location you should be winning, it can set you back. That failure could take years to come back from and it will be difficult to get another opportunity to tie back in." And if you remember MALK had that core relationship with their success at Whole Foods.
One last special treat for everyone who has made it this far, coming soon will be the seasonal holiday nog from MALK. True to form it will be almond milk with still only 5 ingredients!
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!!!
Keep up to date with MALK's blog, here!
Follow along for the MALK journey with their social handles below!
Also check out where MALK has been featured in the following publications below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with MALK feature #54
*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.