Resources | Customer Success | March 10, 2021

GoGo Quinoa Uses C2FO to Drive Product Innovation

For one Canadian health food manufacturer, C2FO’s early payment platform provides an opportunity for growth and creativity.

For one Canadian health food manufacturer, C2FO’s early payment platform provides an opportunity for growth and creativity.  

The story of GoGo Quinoa’s founding has every aspect of a major motion picture. 

Sixteen years ago, a man working in finance felt the call of entrepreneurship, traveled to a foreign land he had visited nearly a decade earlier during a backpacking trip through South America, and fell in love with quinoa — “the mother of all grains” in the Inca language.   

Martin Bilodeau’s deep appreciation of the Inca-era grain ultimately led to the creation of GoGo Quinoa, a company built on the same principles as those who recognized its inherent values more than 5,000 years ago: nutrition, sustainability and well-being. 

Now, Montreal-based GoGo Quinoa processes and imports over 60 organic, plant-based, allergen-free products made from Bolivian quinoa and other superfoods and legumes. The company has built a loyal following for its Andean farm-to-table concept. You can find GoGo Quinoa products throughout Canada and parts of the United States, in grocery and natural food stores, big-box retailers and e-commerce sites. 

Since its inception in 2004, GoGo Quinoa’s mission has remained the same: to help consumers who care about their wellness and the health of the environment to discover the remarkable properties of this superfood.

The big leagues 

Tal Tuchman, GoGo Quinoa’s director of finance, said the company has always been intent on research and development to create cutting-edge products that, in his words, “each have a separate story to tell.” 

To do that, Tuchman said liquidity is essential to bring new products to fruition and spearhead fresh marketing initiatives. That’s why he turned to C2FO to free up cash in the company’s accounts receivable.

“We’re able to use that working capital to push forward more innovation, which obviously takes more funding up front before we can actually launch a product,” Tuchman said. “We also need liquidity to fund our marketing initiatives that explain the benefits of our products to our target customers.” 

With new branding on the horizon that includes more sustainable packaging, updated design and an array of on-trend products, GoGo Quinoa’s Brand Manager Sandra Boily said the company is ready to begin its next chapter. 

“I would say that we’re at a crossroads now,” Boily said. “We’re no longer a small company. We want to play in the big leagues and we need to be able to spend like it.” 

Taste the well-being

With its inception in 2004, GoGo Quinoa became the first company to import organic quinoa into Canada. The company has an excellent relationship with its Bolivian family farmers, who grow quinoa in the traditional method cultivated from centuries of experience. 

GoGo Quinoa ensures supply chain sustainability by helping many of these farmers transition to organic farming. Also, the quinoa grown in South America arrives in Canada by ocean freight, which contributes to the company’s low carbon footprint. 

“The other aspect that’s really important to us as we consider the environment and reduce our own impact, is moving away from plastic. Our pasta line is now packaged in recycled cardboard boxes and our cookies are sold in compostable packaging,” Tuchman said. “We’re working towards reducing our use of plastic by 70% by the end of 2021.” 

GoGo Quinoa’s new tagline, “Taste the well-being,” is a reflection of the company’s pivot to narrowing its focus to quinoa and pasta — its two best-selling items. GoGo Quinoa recently launched a vegan mac and cheese, its first foray into a meal solution, and the company is looking to expand its pasta product line to include other proteins and legumes. 

This quest to enhance GoGo Quinoa’s existing product line, while creating packaging and brand messaging that educates and resonates with the consumer, requires cash on hand. 

No looking back

“Certainly, there is a challenge of having adequate capital to develop new, on-trend products from the idea phase to the retail market,” Tuchman said. “C2FO’s platform has been great because many of our customers were already on the platform. The process was very easy to set up.” 

Through the C2FO platform, GoGo Quinoa can accelerate its invoices from large customers at a faster rate to provide cash flow on-demand. 

“Our largest customer on both the Canadian and the US side uses the C2FO platform and those purchase orders tend to be much larger than our other deals. With the grocery channel, we kind of sell as we go, but the big-box channel tends to be larger deals,” Tuchman said.  “Being able to get that money five, 10, or 14 days in advance is significant compared to selling small amounts and getting that money 30 days in advance.”

In addition, Tuchman said C2FO’s platform was advantageous in terms of cross-border transactions. 

“Since we’re located in Canada and we have some US suppliers, it was very advantageous for us to be able to utilize the platform and have customers accept the offers at the US rate,” Tuchman said. “I’m happy to get the US dollars. It was really interesting making money on the transactions as opposed to borrowing US dollars from my Canadian bank at a higher rate.”

Tuchman said C2FO Strategic Supplier Relationship Manager Jason Conner is always receptive to his questions about adding new customers to the platform and helping him analyze GoGo Quinoa’s receivables to maximize the company’s working capital.

Tuchman said he’s been using C2FO’s solutions for nearly three years and regrets not starting earlier. 

“I was quite skeptical of the platform at first. I set it aside for at least a year and didn’t give it the fair chance it deserved. But one day, I got an email from Jason asking for a 10-minute call to discuss C2FO. Now I use it all the time,” Tuchman said. “All I needed was to give it a fair chance to be able to see how beneficial it was for us.”

“I haven’t looked back since,” Tuchman said. 

Success Snapshot

GoGo Quinoa

GoGo Quinoa

The food company uses C2FO to help fund new products and marketing initiatives.

Why C2FO?

Thanks to C2FO, GoGo Quinoa can request payment weeks early.