“ShelfLife would not exist as it does today without the help of Pareto. Working with Pareto for our data-heavy tasks was one of the best decisions I made as a founder. Pareto moves quickly and efficiently to deliver exactly what we need when we need it.”

Lillian Cartwright, CEO and co-founder @ ShelfLife

Insights fromIndustrySolutionsAccomplishmentsTime savedMoney saved
Lillian Cartwright, CEO and co-founderB2B MarketplaceData processing10K products listed on the suppliers’ directory665 hours25K USD [1]

This case study shares insights from Lillian Cartwright, CEO and co-founder of ShelfLife, about how Pareto’s data operations facilitated the expansion of the suppliers’ directory while saving 665 hours of work and 25K USD in the process!

Lillian came across Pareto during her time at Harvard Business School, where it was a circulating resource in the Founders Network, and used its services for the first time in early 2021. ShelfLife has now been working ongoing with the Pareto team to ensure data optimization and analysis and achieved significant milestones.

ShelfLife: Your Digital Marketplace for Wholesale Ingredients

ShelfLife is a B2B marketplace for wholesale food and beverage ingredients, founded in 2020, set up to support packaged goods manufacturers and connect them with suppliers. It provides an easy-to-navigate platform for new (and not so new) food businesses, that details updated product information, namely on certifications, pricing, availability, and packaging. This ensures that brand operators can easily find the right products that meet their brand’s standards.

Essentially, this New York-based company reduces the hassle and costs of maintaining the supply chain, by allowing direct quoting with suppliers, providing an intuitive interface to manage ingredient purchasing, and detailing thousands of raw ingredients.On a mission to help these brands get off the ground and build sustainable businesses, ShelfLife gets significant data inputs for products to be listed on their website.

This is where Pareto comes in.

The Challenge

The raw data provided by the suppliers is not optimized or actionable, either because the suppliers are not accustomed to storing data in spreadsheets, or because it’s coming in formats that are hard to work with, such as PDF.

Before Pareto, ShelfLife tried other options for data processing, such as outsourcing freelancers through Fiverr and Upwork, or working with a team overseas. Still, those options presented their own set of challenges. Operating in different time zones created barriers in communication and delays in the outputs.

Where Pareto Comes In

Without adequate data processing, these data dumps would create a heavy workload for the ShelfLife team before being of any use. Since starting to work with Pareto, this raw data has been periodically sent and transformed into standardized formats so that new suppliers can be swiftly included in the suppliers' directory and start connecting with brands. In Lillian’s words, “It’s been helpful that Pareto takes these documents provided by the suppliers and transforms the information into a digestible format”.

Lillian also listed other advantages of working with Pareto: having a responsive team that communicates effectively whenever they need to send product information, reasonable timelines, and never having been met with no capacity for a project.

With Pareto’s data operations, ShelfLife has achieved the incredible accomplishment of detailing 10K products to be browsed by potential stakeholders!


“We wouldn’t have been able to move as quickly or handle as much information without the help of your team”


In addition to these data processing services, Pareto has also assisted ShelfLife with compiling data on relevant suppliers. Whether to find top juice suppliers or spice suppliers in the US, data experts perform market research to find the product or service the client is looking for. Pareto is committed to ShelfLife’s mission of bringing suppliers and brands together and it is exciting to contribute to it.

An Extension of Your Team

“I see Pareto as an extension of our team” claims Lillian. Pareto aims to do just this – to be just a Slack message away to undertake the strategic data operations that assist all members of the team, from sales to onboarding. The CEO even encourages other ShelfLife team members to reach out to Pareto whenever they need to!

The Future

At Pareto, it is easy to scale the collaboration with the clients and meet emerging needs as they come.

In ShelfLife’s case, the co-founder and CEO emphasizes that certain tasks will continue to be trusted to Pareto. As she explains, these data operations are extremely task-oriented and would heavily burden team members. If they were to bring these operations in-house, it would take time and energy away from their focus on strategy and growing the business.

In ShelfLife’s organizational model, team members have more freedom to make the business decisions that are going to push the startup forward, instead of being “boxed in” by these time-consuming and repetitive tasks. By offloading these tasks with Pareto, the ShelfLife team is not only getting expert data operations but also increasing their team efficiency!


“I definitely don’t see a world where we wouldn’t still need help with these types of projects, because I don’t see a time when we would bring these in house”


Other than maintaining the current data processing, new and exciting projects may be in the foreseeable future of the Pareto-ShelfLife collaboration. ShelfLife currently uses CRM software, which requires manual effort and performance monitoring. In the future, Pareto could test conversion rates, complete CRM cleanings, and organize and label CRM leads.

Together we will also gradually and organically start building a contact network, by generating weekly leads and identifying relevant market players.

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Your Extended Team for Data Operations

Clients' trust is priceless which is why Pareto works every day to provide the best data collection, web research, and lead generation for growing businesses. Thank you to Lillian and the ShelfLife team to embark on this journey with Pareto!

Pareto strives to provide the most intuitive, complete, and accurate data services. When customers ease their team’s load and can focus on growing their business, it is mission accomplished for Pareto.

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[1] According to the average salary for an in-house data expert, calculated by Pave Benchmarking.