Case Study

Innovating Foodl, Netherland’s first B2B food services marketplace


FOODL

Takeaways


Mindcurv partnered with Foodl to launch the first open food marketplace in the Netherlands

We collaborated on shaping the business model, defining customer and partner experiences and set up the cloud infrastructure and platform

MACH architecture for scalability, stability, and flexibility

“Foodl” – that is the first successful open B2B marketplace for supplying and inquiring companies from the catering industry (HORECA) – and that thanks to the support of Mindcurv from the first step. For example, the Dutch company offers catering on its B2B platform
Companies and restaurants have the opportunity to easily get in touch with suitable food suppliers and place orders. The range of the B2B ecommerce platform is broadly positioned with 5,000 products and 500 traditional brands from various food and non-food categories. We accompanied you on the way to your B2B marketplace from the design of the business model, through the establishment of the cloud platform and MACH architecture to the creation of the UX design. With this B2B marketplace solution, Foodl has been a pioneer in the Netherlands since 2020 and continues to grow.

Sector

Food & Beverage

Solution

Rapid Development
Online Marketplace

Technology

AWS
commercetools
Vue Storefront

www.foodl.nl

Did you know that there are more than 15,500 hotels, restaurants and cafes in the Netherlands1? By 2018, the HORECA industry’s annual revenue amounted to 5.8 billion euros1. But even then, food entrepreneurs struggled with an enormous gap in the HORECA online space.

Foodl - Netherland’s first B2B food services marketplace

Context & Challenges


Typically, suppliers sold their products via large scale online vendors. Chefs, bartenders, catering entrepreneurs would purchase inventory through the same vendor. However, this standard online journey, with no contact between suppliers and food entrepreneurs, was far from ideal:

  • Suppliers did not have the insights to provide better products and services to their customers.
  • Food entrepreneurs could not discuss pricing and fulfilment needs to their suppliers.
  • Small business owners like independent caterers and local restaurants were shackled by the often-too-high minimum order costs for delivery
  • Traditional order fulfilment through trucks was highly inefficient and scaling was difficult

Our approach


Mindcurv partnered with Foodl to define the business strategy and objectives, and the operating model. We looked at customer and partner experiences, mapped out user journeys, and designed the platform. Our experience with ecommerce platforms was crucial while creating business processes for Foodl.

TOP DOWN APPROACH

Mindcurv's Top Down Approach for Foodl

An exceptional user experience on multiple devices, connectivity to a wide range of touchpoints, and unlimited scalability were identified as essential requirements. To deliver an amazing omnichannel digital commerce experience, we advocated MACH technologies – the best-of-breed Microservices, APIs, Cloud-native, and Headless. This approach enabled a composable digital shop, where each component was plug-and-play, scalable, and replaceable.

Foodl, Netherland's first B2B food marketplace

The Solution


Mindcurv strategised and built a cloud commerce platform solution to serve as the first open food marketplace in the Netherlands with transparent pricing. We took a vision and rapidly evolved it into a go-to-market implementation.

  • Food entrepreneurs could purchase directly from suppliers.
  • Suppliers could manage their products, inventory, and pricing through the Foodl Supplier Portal.
  • A direct line of communication better-aligned supplier practices and customer needs.
  • A selection of delivery options to support suppliers and food entrepreneurs.

Headless Commerce Backend


The backend was based on cloud-native business applications; commercetools as the commerce engine, and Prismic for CMS. As a headless platform, commercetools offered flexibility and speed and could easily support any channel, without having to set up separate development processes for each.

PWA Frontend


The shopping experience was built by Mindcurv as a Progressive Web App (PWA), enabling users to place orders via any device. The Foodl web app was delivered via Vue Storefront. This enabled Foodl to deliver the same user experience across websites on a desktop or laptop, and an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Headless Commerce Backend


The backend was based on cloud-native business applications; commercetools as the commerce engine, and Prismic for CMS. As a headless platform, commercetools offered flexibility and speed and could easily support any channel, without having to set up separate development processes for each.

  • PWA (Progressive Web App) FRONTEND Provision via VUE Storefront
  • API Gateway ALS API proxy
  • Headless commerce backend
  • System Commercetools
  • CMS Prismic Computing
  • Computing Capacity AWS Fargate & Lambda
  • Storage service Amazon S3 & DynamoDB for data storage
  • Data storage SNS & SQS
  • Application integration

Foodl was designed to be robust, scalable and
99% serverless

Going serverless


AWS was the backdrop to orchestrate all the integration services for the Foodl platform. The platform was designed to be robust and easily scalable. This allowed us to design the architecture to be almost 99% serverless, using the set of fully managed services from AWS. The Foodl team benefitted from this approach in that they could focus on their core product.

To be 99% serverless, we used

1

AWS Fargate and Lambda for our compute capacity.
2

S3 for storage
3

DynamoDB for Data Stores
4

SNS and SQS for Application Integration
5

API gateway as our API proxy

Advantages

  • Helps keep costs low
  • High availability
  • Can scale based on demand
  • Evolve as per business needs

Benefits for foodl

  • Unlimited scalability
  • High flexibility / availability
  • Data security
  • stability
  • Maximum performance
  • Better cost control

Benefits for Foodl customers

  • Omnichannel e-commerce experience with many touchpoints
  • Faster, simpler and more diverse communication channels and payment options
  • Clarity through product categories
  • Orders can be carried out via various end devices
  • transparency

Benefits for food retailers

  • Better insight into customer requirement profiles
  • More visibility, reach and awareness
  • Gain in trust
  • Better overview of competitors
  • Price strategies variable
Gaby Westdorp

We want to give HORECA professionals the same user experience as if they were shopping as a consumer. And this sounds easy if you say it like this, but you have to think of and build everything. Mindcurv helps us in a great way by thinking outside the box.

Gaby Westdorp
Founder, Foodl

The Way Forward for Foodl


Launched in early 2020, Foodl illustrates the potential of bringing together Food & Beverage and technology in the Netherlands. This model of ubiquitous commerce is geared towards future integration, and enables scaling, partnerships and streamlining communication. And Mindcurv is proud to be pivotal to this journey. After debuting in Amsterdam, Foodl has its eye on expanding to other large cities in The Netherlands.

Want to learn more about our services?

Contact Us

1Kamer, Lars. “Netherlands: Revenue Index of the Restaurant Industry 2015-2019.” Statista, 17 Sept. 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/624819/revenue-index-of-the-restaurant-industry-in-the-netherlands/.

Related Projects

Migrating Vorwerk’s Global Self-Managed Enterprise Kubernetes Platform to Amazon EKS

CASE STUDY


Vorwerk

Migrating Vorwerk’s Global Platform to Amazon EKS

Migrating Cookidoo® to Amazon EKS clusters reduced Kubernetes costs by 57% and saved a 7 figure sum in subscription costs.

CASE STUDY


Smooth Operations during unexpected peak times

Some of our customer’s platforms have experienced unanticipated peak loads. See how we have helped stabilise their platforms and how we helped rescue ones that were on fire.

Smooth Operations during unexpected peak times