Case Study

SweetMonk sugar substitute sees sales jump 4x from Amazon ad campaigns

About SweetMonk

Kelsey Gemmill and Nicole Benes are the founders of SweetMonk, an all-natural liquid sugar substitute made purely of monk fruit. SweetMonk is keto- and diabetic-friendly, and has zero calories. Founded in 2017 and based in Vancouver, B.C., this women-led company is hitting its stride in the Canadian and U.S. health food markets.

Sector: Grocery

  • More than doubled Canadian and U.S. Sales (YOY)
  • Over 4x growth in ad campaign sales
  • Over 300% increase in customer impressions (YOY)

The Challenge: “Amazon felt daunting … we really needed expertise”

After first becoming established in retail stores, Sweet Monk launched on in 2020, initially with one SKU and a DIY approach.

“Our initial experience with Amazon felt rather daunting quite quickly,” Kelsey recalls. “Amazon is kind of a double-edged sword: there is so much information available and there are so many different key components in things you can do in the background to get your product seen and to adjust the way it appears to the consumer. So pretty quickly, we realized that if this was something we really wanted to try, we really needed some expertise.”

Other challenges were increasing the number of SKUs, optimizing pricing and positioning in the Canadian and U.S. markets, and staying in stock to keep sales rolling.

Beacon Services

  • Product strategy
  • Pricing strategy
  • PPC advertising
  • Account management

How Beacon Helps

“Don and his team have been able to increase our visibility by really honing in on the different ways that we can advertise through Amazon. They really look at and analyze our pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and the costs associated with those to make sure that we’re still having a good return on investment, and finding that sweet spot where you’re moving product, but it’s still making you good money. Don and his team have also been very successful in helping us make sure that our spend is in good correlation to our sales.”

SweetMonk products are now sold on and, which require very different strategies.

“The U.S. market is a lot more competitive for product and pricing,” Don explains. “We run tests to optimize pricing and maximize profitability, due to the competitive nature of the category. From a review of past order data, we saw that customers were ordering multiple units so we put together two- and three-pack configurations, which is more profitable for SweetMonk.”

Kelsey’s main role is managing inventory and getting it into FBA centers. “If there was a sore spot, when it comes to our Amazon business, it would be historically getting our inventory up to a level where we are never out and we can just keep on selling,” she says. “Don, and his team will, if red flags pop up, remind me that I am behind on fulfilling Amazon.”

She also values the Beacon team’s technical support when glitches happen. “They have taken a huge amount of weight off of our shoulders by dealing with those cases, because you can be dozens of emails in before you get an end result and they just miraculously take over all of that headache. And at the end, it usually just works and it’s done.”

Lost inventory is one example: The SweetMonk product is small in size, tiny boxes that are high value. “We had a few boxes go missing. And before I even realized that inventory was off … I had an email from Don’s team telling me that they had already put a claim into Amazon because we had met a time threshold for missing product. And my next email was basically that we had been refunded. So I did absolutely nothing. The product went missing, was never found, was paid for and Don’s team just dealt with it.”

What’s it like to work with Don and the Beacon team?

“I preface a lot of questions to Don and his team with ‘this might be silly,’ or ‘I’m sure I’m staring at it’ type of thing. And they’re never like, ‘how does she not get this?’ They make you feel okay with asking silly questions. And they just kind of provide a level of comfort. You’re not just in the back end of Amazon, drowning in information there; they’re gonna keep you afloat, keep you going.

“It’s a professional relationship that’s very candid. Even though you’re talking about serious business, the conversations can feel light hearted and I really don’t ever feel like I’m wasting their time or like they’re bothered by assisting and helping us. …I feel like we’re all rooting for the same thing. We’re all trying to get the same end result.”

“Don and his team are fantastic to work with: he has a ton of experience and understands the inner workings of Amazon, he knows the different routes to take and things to try, and he’s been really good at laying a very factual foundation for us to base decisions on.”


SweetMonk saw sales in Canada and the U.S. more than double in the last year, with ad sales quadrupling revenue. Profitability has increased. Customer impressions are up more than 300% year over year and continuing to climb steadily.

What’s next for SweetMonk?

SweetMonk is now focused on entering new markets as well as introducing a new SKU and a new product format. Amazon has become a central component of the company’s overall business strategy: “It allows us to reach people that we never could otherwise.” 

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