In First Broadcast Ads, FreshDirect Goes Straight For The Foodies

FreshDirect, which has been delivering groceries to fussy shoppers since 2002, is both expanding and shrinking its footprint.

It's retreating from Philadelphia and Washington D.C to focus entire on the New York metro area. And in the Big Apple, it's launching a large-scale campaign. With its first use of broadcast TV, it's hoping to become a tristate standby.

"The New York market is just so big and so dense, it makes more sense for us to take advantage of the growth opportunities here," says John MacDonald, chief marketing officer.

"There's so much great food here," he says. "And as the world has gone through the growing pains of delivery services during the pandemic, customers' expectations of how they get that food is changed."

The main point is scope. "We're already well known in Manhattan. And we've long served the other boroughs and outlying areas. But we've never talked to customers this way before, and we've never gone out as broadly as we are now," he tells Marketing Daily.

FreshDirect has been a New York staple since 2002 and pioneered food delivery for many Gothamites. The pandemic pushed consumers further into delivery options–Amazon, Instacart, DoorDash and UberEats, to name a few.

He says the insight behind this creative approach is New Yorkers' high expectations of food. In spots that are a little bit funny -- with exacting roommates and sassy kids demanding dinner -- the focus is on both the high quality of the food and the convenience of online shopping.

It's the first campaign from Curiosity, the Cincinnati agency it tapped as agency of record earlier this year. And for the first time, the brand is using broadcast TV and connected TV, online, social and out of home. And it builds on the previous positioning -- "the obsession is real -- –and takes it one step further. These ads are tagged: "For the food-obsessed, by the food obsessed."

New TikTok content also features recipes. And it's also working with the New York Times' T Brand, pushing out content based on its long-term fans and customers.

With broadcast, the brand can introduce itself to the entire metro market. "Before, we've relied on more intimate, targeted, personalized word of mouth."

Its segmentation research revealed that the approach left millions of New Yorkers in the dark about the brand. "We haven't been talking to them at all, and they don't talk to us. But they want what we have. They want to be associated with a premium brand and are willing to pay for better food for their family."

MacDonald says he hopes that, in addition to boosting sales and conversion rates, he wants to see a brand breakthrough, in terms of awareness, in the outer boroughs and suburbs.

Headquartered in Bronx, New York, the regional brand is owned by Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch grocery conglomerate. Ahold also owned Peapod, a delivery service in Chicago, which it shut down and folded under other banners in 2020.

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