Expert opinion: The future of online fresh food shopping


At our Taste Tomorrow event in Chicago, David McInerney − co-founder of FreshDirect, an online food supplier specialized in fresh produce − took the stage to talk about the future of online food shopping. How to overcome consumer skepticism and a lack of quality experience? 'The best way to become successful is to start with the very best products. To literally put your money where your mouth is.'

Fresh food: easy to get

'The idea of FreshDirect came to me during my career as a chef. I spent many years working in high-end restaurants and was privileged to work with high- quality food. But when I walked out of the restaurants into the supermarket, I remember the difference in quality. I wanted to change this with FreshDirect. The idea is to link the food of great producers to the consumer with as few stations in between as possible. I.e.: to make great, fresh food easily available.'

Dictating quality
According to McInerney, it’s the people that are buying the food who dictate its quality, not the farmer, the fisherman nor the rancher.

Fresh food online
Online food shopping is growing. More and more people have embraced the ease of the food box or of selecting their meals online, picking it up on the way home from work or choosing to have it delivered at home. It’s the ultimate convenience. 'However, when shopping online, consumers miss the experimental part of the process which is to smell, touch and even taste the food in front of them.' McInerney focuses on the advantages of online food shopping.

The marketplace
There are a growing number of platforms that offer food boxes: be it local initiatives trying to shorten the supply chain, or large retailers such as Dutch supermarket "Albert Heijn" (with almost 950 physical stores) and their "Allerhande box". This food box provides a family of two or four with three meals a week and can be delivered at home, picked up in store or at a different pickup point. Besides providing an extra service, it’s also a way to prevent losing consumers to competitors.

Interested in how Puratos can help to make your company future-proof? Don’t hesitate to contact your local Puratos representative.

Another interesting read: interview with Michael Lee, founder of the Future Market, about the consumer's future needs.