We took a break
Around the 15th of march the Dutch government decided that schools should be closed and education should continue from home, using some or other forms of an online education program. This meant the main workforce of Powder Matter, me, Dirk, had to stay home and help the kids (big boys of 8 and 10) with their education.
I could have kept going to the Powder Matter facility to keep providing everyone with our products, but I decided my kids needed some stability in times where everybody was in some kind of panic.
At the beginning of March already several countries had locked down their borders. This meant delays, returned packages without reason, longer delivery times, extra charges… In march a significant part of the shipments to pick up points were returned because smaller shops already had closed shops. This was declared as costs on the shippers’ account unfortunately.
These are reasons, besides the fact that we had not had vacations longer than a week since Powder Matter started operations, that made us go on a ‘vacation’ and wait and see till things cleared up a bit.
It looks like things are clearer in The Netherlands for us. But we are not there yet completely, unfortunately.
So.... What changed? Shipping-wise
Shipping to several destinations became almost impossible
Most destinations that were available through some secondary air-cargo, became unavailable or much more expensive. Amongst these are Japan, Canada, Australia. The USA somehow is still available but more expensive.
There are substantial delays to countries that have introduced a lock-down such as Czechia and Poland.
Certain postal codes in Italy, Portugal, Austria are not shipped to.
Most pick up points have become unavailable in countries where shops are closed.
Larger packages are not shipped at all and heavy packages are discouraged by extra charges.
Because the extra charges are substantial, we decided to cut off our bottom price at 1.20€ per meal at 14 bags. Ordering more will not increase the bulk discount.
Since 80% of our orders are shipped with DPD, it is wise to check this link if you are curious if our conditions affect you:
And 10% with DHL:
To be sure, feel always free to ask us directly.
The good thing is, we guess all these changes are temporary.
Other shipping changes
With an increase in the number of sales, we also had orders from apparently remote areas. This caused too many times a so-called remote area surcharge which is as much as taxi costs from the airport to these areas 😀
Some samples are:
- From Krakow-Poland to a village 30 km further 49.99€ with DHL
- To Scottish Highlands UK a surcharge of 19.99 € with DPD, besides the regular costs of 15€ they charge me excluding VAT… For an order which I received 35€ for.
So we decided to build in these remote areas into our shop. However since it is adding a huge number of numbers into the database, it is possible we made some errors while typing (we are only human). So if you think there is an error, please contact us. In some cases it is possible to make use of an alternative carrier so contact us if you are considering an order.
To check the remote area surcharges for DPD you can take a look at the following:
There is even a search engine for such areas…
Any positive changes to Powder Matter?
Formula upgrade to 2.5.1
Actually since January there is a minor formula update. The formula was updated to 2.5.1 and silicium dioxide was removed from the recipes.
We are our own millers: Freshly milled buckwheat and Quinoa Holland in Powder Matter
Everybody knows that freshly ground pepper tastes much better than pre-ground black-pepper-powder. We noticed this difference since we mill our Quinoa Holland. During the ‘vacation’ we arranged ourselves a Milling corner in our facility and we arranged a good supply of fresh buckwheat. Our friend Corne from Quinoa Holland was also very generous with supplying us with the last harvest Quinoa Holland, which made us decide to increase the amount of quinoa in our Original line. We did not upgrade the recipe version, but there is now double the amount quinoa in our Original line. If you are not a fan of quinoa, consider our Neutral line.
New Neutral Flavors
We already did release our Raspberry flavored neutral product. As soon as we have caught up on the backorders, we will also release a Chocolate-Mint flavor. This will be the first chocolatey flavor in the Neutral line.
To me these recent events have proven again a few points.
- Healthy food is the main pillar in sustaining a healthy body and a healthy life. Healthy food protects us amongst others from obesity and a bad immune system
- Even though we have to keep a distance to each other during this pandemic, we need each other even more than ever.
Eat healthily, stay healthy!