Sunday, November 4, 2012

Relay Foods a Non-traditional Food Retailer Finding Success

When retailers simply copy what the other guy does there is never any lasting excitement encompassing the brand or its products. Founded in 2007 and served its first customer in 2009 Relay Foods continues to grow and now is operating in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia markets.

With a focus on locally grown and better for you food delivered; Relay Foods focus is fresh, organic locally grown foods for urban markets. In an interview with The Hartman Group Relay Founder and COO detailed Relay’s point of differentiation in the food deliver marketplace this way when asked “How would you compare Relay to Peapod or FreshDirect?”

Peapod is selling mass-market CPG brands as a luxury service due to their home delivery fees and the economics of home delivery. It’s a different value proposition. They are competing on price and selling the same things you can get at any grocery store.

One of the inhibitors of growth for Peapod, at least in my view, is that home grocery delivery is a luxury service. They're asking people to pay a $10 delivery fee on top of the grocery order to deliver to a customer’s home. Yet Peapod is trying to position itself as the market leader in price, so the two facts presented together—luxury service and price focus—don’t work.

Relay is a brand that is improving people's lives by making their lives simpler, better, healthier and happier. We are not about selling CPG items and moving them as quickly and cheaply as possible. We are about making people's lives better. Our success is attributed to our customers, not to the brands we carry on our virtual shelves.

FreshDirect is a company we admire, and they are perfectly positioned to meet New York City’s online grocery demand. Their current business model won’t work as well in suburban cities such as Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles. But they may still figure it out—they are a young company, after all.” You can find the full interview by The Hartman Group at:

How close are you to your customers? Do you have defined differentiation in the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh food space? Non-traditional food retailers are simultaneously assisting your customers in consumer relevant ways are you?  Copy-cat menu and positioning will not prevail long term.  Need help?

Interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization contact us via Email us at: or visit Johnson, or

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