The Bronx, N.Y.-based e-grocer FreshDirect is relaunching its FoodKick on-demand service as FreshDirect Express, providing two-hour delivery for online orders now available in Manhattan, Brooklyn and parts of Queens.
The company said the new offering—built around a curated selection of goods that with Foodkick was delivered by bicycle or motorbike vs. the next-day truck deliveries of its traditional service—comes in response to high demand that came with the coronavirus pandemic. It can be accessed via a toggle on the FreshDirect app or website. Visitors to the FoodKick website are now redirected to a FreshDirect Express landing page.
The new offering resembles those rolled out recently by H-E-B, Walmart and Kroger, promising shoppers faster delivery from a limited selection of high-velocity SKUs for a fee. FreshDirect launched FoodKick in 2016. Delivery fees vary depending on location and how they are purchased, either or a per-delivery or subscription basis.
“COVID-19 has changed the way people think about shopping for food and cooking for their families in almost every way imaginable—from the sudden and significant need for grocery delivery to the newfound comfort of homemade meals,” David McInerney, CEO of FreshDirect, said in a release. “This is truly a time of unprecedented demand and also of discovery. To address this shift, we have been laser-focused on making the FreshDirect model faster, easier and safer for all. Our team has risen to the task brought on by this significant surge in an extraordinary way—by designing innovative and effective ways to meet our customers’ needs and implementing them in real time.”
The evolved offering joins other tweaks to the FreshDirect service as the 20-year-old New York e-grocer adjusts to a new level of demand. The company for example said it has “significantly” increased same-day and next-day delivery timeslots across all boroughs of New York, added capacity in the suburban areas of New Jersey, Westchester, Connecticut and Long Island, and expanded summer delivery to the Hamptons and the Jersey Shore. Additionally, FreshDirect said it was offering contactless order pickup with no delivery fee in high-demand areas including New Jersey, the Hamptons, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and at its Bronx headquarters, with more sites to come.
“We’ve seen a 50% increase in new shoppers converting to loyal customers, and those numbers continue to rise,” McInerney added. "Customers are realizing they can access the best food in the world without a trip to the store.”