Clicking and Cooking at FreshDirect
FreshDirect will tell you that clicking and cooking go perfectly together.
The New York-based online grocery and delivery service earlier this week announced the launch of its One-Click Recipes program, allowing its customers to choose recipes from 53 top-selling Workman Publishing cookbooks.
The service enables FreshDirect’s customers to search and sort using a number of different criteria, such as main ingredient, type of cuisine, cooking method, number served, etc.
When a recipe is selected, One-Click makes it easy for shoppers to get what they need through an ingredients list that is easily added to their cart.
The One-Click service isn’t just about sales. FreshDirect has developed a system to serve customer betters to help them avoid buying products they already have and do not need to purchase.
Common items such as olive oil, for example, are identified by the FreshDirect system, which alerts customers they may already have the particular ingredient in their pantry. These items need to be manually selected by the user and are not automatically added to the cart. The system also reminds shoppers when they may have purchased an ingredient previously for another recipe to avoid duplication.
FreshDirect’s President, Steve Michaelson, said the company did some consumer research to gauge the value of the service for its customers, but the findings simply reinforced what he knew was the right decision.
“We are in the business of fresh food and meals–helping customers get a great tasting, nutritious meal, on the table each night. Recipes naturally fit that business,” he told RetailWire.
“We felt that we could be a better recipe solution than currently existed, by being able to directly connect the recipe with the purchase experience,” he added. “Before this service, when I found a recipe that I liked, I needed to hunt through a store for the ingredients, maybe more than one store. Maybe some of the ingredients were not in season, and I was back to square one. So having an online recipe directly linked to the purchase experience seemed like a better recipe solution than currently existed in the world, and one that only could be delivered online.”
According to Mr. Michaelson, growth in FreshDirect’s current markets served “is keeping us quite busy.” FreshDirect, however, is not simply taking a laisse-faire approach to using its One-Click Recipes service to draw in new customers and encourage current ones to buy more from the company.
“We will be marketing the recipes in a variety of ways. Most important, of course, is on our site,” he said. “We will have aggressive in-store merchandising programs in place–ads and other placements within our own site. We will also be advertising this more broadly in the fall. We will have outdoor billboards, ads on our trucks, and we are looking at other marketing vehicles.”
While titles such as Silver Palate are already popular with household chefs and wannabe’s, Mr. Michaelson said FreshDirect is not getting into the business of selling cookbooks.
“We are selling cookbooks to help our customers be successful with the recipes,” he said. “We will only sell a few different titles at a time. We do not envision ourselves becoming a major seller of cookbooks. As a matter of fact, the confirming email that goes out on each recipe contains links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble for the customer to buy the appropriate cookbook online from those retailers.”
Discussion Questions: How do you think the One-Click Recipes service will affect how current and potential customers
perceive FreshDirect? What do you see as the biggest benefit of the service for FreshDirect and/or its customers?
FreshDirect serves over 250,000 customers in Manhattan and locations in the outer boroughs as well as parts of New Jersey, Westchester, and Nassau County.