Companies who’ve survived for centuries are few and far between. Founded in 1790, King Arthur Flour is one of them.
“We started as a family-owned flour company 227 years ago. The fact that we’re still selling flour as a major part of our business is amazing,” Bill Tine, vice president of marketing, said.
Today, King Arthur Flour is 100 percent employee-owned. They sell their signature flours and baking mixes directly to consumers online and wholesale to 5,000 U.S. retailers. They also run a local bakery and café, have two baking schools in Vermont and Washington state, and are a major content producer for bakers across America.
“We’ve really grown into a national company that focuses on all things baking,” Bill remarked. “Our consumers’ experience via our website, social media and email marketing have been a huge part of that growth.”
“We hope to reach half of all baking households in the U.S. within the next couple of years. And we plan to do it through the web.”
Bill Tine, vice president of marketing
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Since getting online in 1996, the historic New England company has flourished. Their website has evolved into an e-commerce store as well as a popular baking recipe destination, drawing over 20 million unique visitors a year.
“We want to have a direct relationship with bakers in the U.S.,” Bill said. “That starts with people buying from us directly. And 85 percent of that happens online.”
AdWords, Google’s advertising program, brings in 20 percent of their e-commerce revenue. Google Analytics provides them with the data to better understand and meet the needs of their customers. They use social media, including YouTube, to share baking tips and other goodies.
“We also use Google Trends to look at seasonality and guide our product research and content planning,” Aime Mason, director of digital and content marketing, said.
King Arthur Flour has 375 employees.
From their unbleached and unbromated flours to their whole wheat breads, King Arthur Flour is proud to be, as Bill describes, “number one in most product categories that we sell in.” They were named one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Vermont. Their Bake for Good program teaches thousands of kids how to bake and also encourages them to “bake it forward.” And they hope to soon be the first resource all bakers turn to for advice, inspiration and education.
“Whether you’re a kid making bread for the first time or an expert struggling with a new technique, we want to help you have the best experience possible,” Bill said. “That’s what we strive for. To have a meaningful impact on our bakers, and to save the world, one recipe at a time.”
For more information on the King Arthur Flour case study, visit https://economicimpact.
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