Amazon helps Rule Breaker Snacks bring allergy-friendly treats to cautious eaters

The Brooklyn-based baked goods business expects sales to triple over the next year with Amazon as a trusted partner.

3 min
May 31, 2024
Rule Breakers Founder Photo

After Nancy Kalish promoted her Brooklyn-based baked goods business, Rule Breaker Snacks, on a popular television show, orders for her gluten-free vegan and kosher brownies and blondies exploded overnight.

What may seem like an entrepreneur’s dream come true can quickly turn into a nightmare for a business that’s not prepared to scale. If customer demand outpaces capacity to fulfill orders, a small- or medium-sized business can lose their customers’ trust and a reputation that took months, or even years, to earn.

For Kalish, a former health journalist-turned-entrepreneur, leveraging Amazon to help pick, pack, and ship tasty treats as quickly as customers could click was a key ingredient in her business’ recipe for success.

Rule Breaker Snacks began as a passion project, when Kalish decided to take her health into her own hands and develop recipes in her home kitchen using chickpeas to satisfy her sweet tooth. Her treats were a hit among family and friends, and Rule Breaker Snacks was born to provide a healthier alternative to traditional snacks.

All of brand’s snacks are 100% plant-based and shelf-stable for 14 months with no preservatives. They are also free from the top 11 allergens, including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, soy, sesame, coconut, mustard, fish, shellfish, and wheat/gluten.

In 2021, Kalish appeared on Shark Tank, an American business reality series, and sales exploded with an immediate demand of 10x her normal monthly sales.

“We were overwhelmed by orders when I appeared on Shark Tank,” said Kalish. “Luckily, Amazon was there to help.”

“If we weren’t on Amazon, I don’t think we would have gotten all of this revenue,” she added.

Kalish said she initially relied on Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment, a third-party logistics solution that leverages Amazon’s fulfillment network, to scale her business nationally, instantaneously. Multi-Channel Fulfillment enables shoppers to place orders from any off-Amazon channel, including brand websites and social media stores, with Amazon picking, packing, and shipping orders to customers.

“Not only did they ship all our Amazon orders in a timely manner, but by using Multi-Channel Fulfillment, we were able to ship orders placed on just as speedily,” she added.

Kalish said she first decided to leverage Amazon as a sales channel in 2018 after spending years as an ecommerce consumer, years before she appeared on Shark Tank.

“People start their food and snack shopping on Amazon, and I wanted to be a part of that,” she said, adding that as sales grew, she sought to make her products more accessible to consumers across the country.

“Even though Rule Breaker Snacks is a small brand, Amazon levels the playing field, giving us the same opportunities to reach consumers as much bigger competitors.”
— Nancy Kalish, CEO, Rule Breaker Snacks

“It’s really important to me that my product isn’t just in a few health stores. I want it to be where a lot of people can access it, find out about it, and try it,” Kalish added. “What ends up happening is that we tend to get loyal customers and repeat business, and Amazon has certainly helped with that.”

Rule Breaker Snacks has continued to partner and grow with Amazon, with sales multiplying exponentially since the brand launched nearly a decade ago.

“Even though Rule Breaker Snacks is a small brand, Amazon levels the playing field, giving us the same opportunities to reach consumers as much bigger competitors,” said Kalish. “It gave us instant national distribution way before we were in stores across the country, giving us the ability to reach a much wider audience.”

“All that boosts brand awareness, which boosts sales, and is invaluable to small companies like Rule Breaker Snacks,” she added.

Kalish said her partnership with Amazon helped fuel Rule Breaker Snacks’ growth in brick-and-mortar stores by putting her products on the Amazon shelf next to some of the “mega-brands” they compete with. The visibility that Amazon provides is “a gigantic plus” for small businesses like hers, Kalish said.

“Especially early on when we didn’t have a lot of retailers, it was really important for the buyers from those retailers to be able to check us out on Amazon and see that we were there,” she added. “They wanted to know our sales figures on Amazon in order to gauge how popular we were, so Amazon made a very big difference [for us] in that way.”

Today Rule Breaker Snacks products are available in more than 4,000 retailers across the country, with sales expected to triple over the next year. As a small business owner, Nancy Kalish views Amazon as a driver of her brand’s success.

“It’s a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it,” she said.

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