Goodbye, 2021: A Year with Raw Bites

Goodbye, 2021: A Year with Raw Bites

Hi everyone, 

Merry Christmas! We've added and modified a few things in our Christmas image (if you've been keeping track) - more dogs (well, our office have always had 5 dogs and 1 is a mix so it was harder to draw Elle) and Gail's son is finally riding his scooter at 1.5yrs old and cannot keep still (unless he's watching Cocomelon).

2021 Raw Bites Christmas

Before the year ends, we just want to look back at what 2021 was for Raw Bites.

We've decided to outsource fulfillment of our online orders in the middle of 2021. We realized that keeping the fulfillment of online orders in our office is not sustainable since it took time away from our team to "think and grow". We were overwhelmed with packing online orders and although it was a good problem to have, we knew that something had to change.

With this move, all our inventory systems are now synced across all shops so we no longer have to manually split stocks. Most of our orders are processed within 1 business day. It wasn't an easy start for us and our external partner since we had to navigate the best way manage the nuances of both our businesses but 4 months since the transition and we think we're now a well-oiled machine.


We're still far from our goal of 200 orders per day 😅 and it was quite ambitious to reach this by this year considering there were a lot of supply interruptions not just from our own imports but also from all the local suppliers that we work with. But we're happy with any growth we've achieved. When stock levels are good, there were days where we can get to over 100 orders on non-campaign days! But since we deal with 90+ brands, there will always be a brand here and there that will not be available.

We've already mentioned this but we're so happy with how fast orders are processed now. On mega campaign days, they start packing at 12:01 AM and orders get picked up on the same day! We could never do that in our office. As a result, we get less follow-ups on "when ship out?" but occasionally still do from customers who ordered today but want their orders shipped out yesterday. 😝

We created at least 100 proposals this year for custom boxes. It would be nice to get all 100 of them approved but in reality, only a portion of them do and we're grateful for any project we get nonetheless. We don't have the fanciest of boxes or fanciest items but what we can offer are endless food options that we can tailor-fit for any event and some personalization with a sticker sleeves. We've even done a 1-year old birthday box giveaway this year! Although we will be spending our holidays packing more custom boxes (for events early Jan), we and our packers are happy for this extra source of income.
With time back in our hands, we have spend the latter part of the year looking for like-minded businesses that we can include in our growing e-grocery. There's only 1 person that adds all the SKUs across all shops, and that's our El Presidente, Gail. That 1 person has uploaded and enrolled 411 new SKUs this year. We also have only 1 person that manages the finances to pay 90+ suppliers (and growing) weekly and that's our VP, Jane. 😝 
Speak to any importer and they'll let you know how uncertain shipping schedules are now, on top of rising cost of shipping containers. We try to plan ahead and even if we plan a month ahead from our typical schedule, we end up getting our order a month late. We've had last minute booking cancellations from UK (where our most of our imports are from) for reasons such as "no longer servicing the Philippines" and it breaks our heart but rather than crying, we scramble to find the next schedule. But despite all that, we were able to grow our imports. When we started 4 years ago, we only brought in less than container loads (LCL) once or twice a year and now we have single brands that can fill up a full container! Thank you for trusting in the brands we represent.

Actually, correction, it should be 7 grocery stores but 6 of it was really HARD WORK. Discussions spanned for several months just to enter more The Marketplace stores within MM, Cebu and CDO, and although there were listing fees involved, we felt that it was a win for us! We don't know if any of these stores will do well but we have a philosophy that if we don't try, we'll never know. 

Other than that, we've also naturally extended our products into Landmark BGC and Real Food Rockwell. Hope you can support our retail partners too!


There's still just 3 heads fully running the business (Gail, Jane and our admin) but this year, we grew the pool of external partners that we worked with to help manage and grow the business. We now have an external marketing team that helps Gail with one goal in mind: grow online sales. They hustle during campaign days. Finally, we have videos up in our feed and giveaways too and we plan to do one every month! 

Then we have our little retail team (1 sales coordinator, 1 tactical coordinator and a couple of roving merchandisers) that take care of our modern trade accounts. Then we have our office team that makes sure that all suppliers get paid, B2B (grocery and community shop) deliveries are made, and all custom orders are packed on time. Of course, how can we forget our fulfillment partner who works 24 hours on campaign days and takes care of all the packing for online orders.

We're not a complete team yet. We think we need another person on operations or a bookkeeper but at least Gail and Jane have their evenings back!

If you're in an Asian household, you'd be like, what's good about this? You should be top 1 (raise your hand if you can relate)! But we're not and we don't think we'll ever be cause that means competing with multinational companies in these platforms. But we've only been in Lazada and Shopee for less than 2 years and we're proud of what we've achieved between 3 heads in the office. After 4 years of starting this business, both Gail and Jane are still very hands-on. One of them is still the customer service rep that deals with happy and angry customers.

So that's our 2021. We hope we didn't sound braggy but we're always proud of what we've accomplished with limited resources. 🙃 We know 2021 is not perfect for everyone. It hasn't been for us either but rather but for now, we'd rather look at the good things that happened this year.

From our team to your family and friends, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! As always, thank you for your continued support. We are where we are because of you. :)

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