There’s nothing like fresh produce straight from the farm. Green markets are popping up all over the country to meet growing demand for high quality food. But if you don’t have the time or the patience, you certainly have options. FreshDirect is one of the largest online grocers that’s been clicking with consumers seeking quality.
Grocery delivery services aren’t new; they’ve existed as long as the stores themselves. While overall grocery store sales in the U.S. fell 2.1% last year, online grocer sales jumped over 8%, according to IBISWorld. Further, they estimate online sales to grow 9.5% annually into a $9.4 billion industry by 2017.
The largest is Peapod, a service that delivers goods specifically from grocery store chains Stop & Shop and Giant Foods. The company started in Illinois in 1989 and now covers 24 markets in 13 states. FreshDirect is the new kid on the block, started in New York in 2002.
Breakout sat down with the co-founders, Jason Ackerman and David McInerney, to digest exactly what sets FreshDirect apart.
“Forget the Internet for a moment, look at a Stop & Shop and Whole Foods (WFM),” says Ackerman, who also serves as CEO. “You’d be able to articulate that they’re very different stores. It’s the same thing. We are about really the best fresh food on the marketplace and that’s what makes us different.”
The company travels around the globe looking for the freshest meat, seafood, and produce. Unlike competitor Peapod, they’re not tied to any specific grocer. They believe this enables the service to be faster and fresher.
“Take strawberries. Those strawberries are bred and grown to have a three week shelf life,” explains McInerney, “to accommodate retailers that need to move them around and around and around until ultimately they end up at a consumers house. Our model takes out a lot of the distribution because we’re buying it directly from the farm. We can take entire truckloads from the farm into us, often pre-selling it before it even arrives in our facility because we take orders seven days out.”
FreshDirect told us exclusively about plans to take that freshness to a whole new level. The company will relocate from its Long Island City headquarters in Queens, to the Bronx, New York, where they’ll have a brand new facility and products that are ripe for the picking.Read More »from FreshDirect Building 200,000 Sq. Ft. Greenhouse in South Bronx