Fairway Market, which operates 15 stores in the New York City metro area, has partnered with the Forager digital procurement system to source local food in a move the company says will ensure access to up-to-the-minute farm inventory with more choices and varieties, as well as support better pricing on local items in stores.
“The Fairway Market team is excited about Forager’s potential to help us expand the variety of local food we offer to our millions of customers in the most efficient way possible,” Jason Bidart, VP of private brand and local programs for Fairway Market, said in a release. “Many of our smaller suppliers—independent farms, for example—have traditionally used phone calls, fax or text messages for the ordering process. The Forager platform is far more efficient yet user-friendly, giving farmers the tools to provide Fairway with seamless ordering of their up-to-date products.”
Fairway Market said it launched with the Forager platform in response to rising customer demand for locally sourced food. Based in Portland, Maine, Forager has developed online and mobile platforms to digitize and streamline the procurement-to-payment process, saving time and costs for grocers. According to a national consumer survey conducted by Forager, 78% of consumers usually place local food on their shopping list; 93% of consumers would buy more local food if it was available at their primary grocery store; and 84% would make an extra shopping trip for local, seasonal food.
Fairway said it was currently using the Forager platform in its produce warehouse. “Based on how well the trial performs, we will look at expanding Fairway’s use of the platform into other areas like cheese, nonperishable groceries and wellness. We are also considering enabling our stores to use Forager to manage orders to local suppliers that deliver directly to our stores,” Bidart said. “We’ve found that the Forager platform provides efficiencies that allow us to better market, price and promote our local food selection, allowing us to pass along its benefits to our customers.”
“We are thrilled that Fairway Market is up and running with Forager and is leveraging our technology to extend their leadership in local food,” said David Stone, founder of Forager. “Forager is transforming the local food supply chain, making a highly complex and manual process much more efficient, so that grocers can source more locally and give consumers what they want most—fresh, local food. Our platform removes significant challenges for grocers to scale and sustain a robust and profitable local food selection. And further, grocers using Forager have seen double digit increases in local food sales.”