Operating since 1822, Fulton Fish Market is a New York City institution. Now, residents don’t have to trek to Hunts Point in order to snag today’s catch. One of the most popular aspects of the storied market is its commitment to sourcing sustainable seafood products. The seafood industry is rife with supply chain issues including everything from mislabeled fish to human rights violations.
New York City’s nearly 9 million residents tend to be particularly savvy when it comes to food policy issues and many of them have a preference for sourcing local items whenever possible. But they also have to battle the city’s traffic and congestion to do so. The high-density population, abundance of affluent consumers and a dearth of car owners makes New York the perfect habitat for online food delivery to thrive.
As Jet rolls out its fresh seafood offerings, one of the big questions will be whether consumers are willing to let go of their hesitancy towards ordering fresh proteins online in lieu of being able to see, smell and peruse offerings at the supermarket or local butcher shop. In this case, convenient, hassle-free delivery and a preference for transparent food products may prevail.
Despite the appeal of this new offering, Jet still has some stiff competition in the NYC food delivery scene. FreshDirect has been the reigning online grocer with 63% of the market share, according to Bloomberg, but now residents may be turning their favor elsewhere as FreshDirect’s expansion hasn’t gone as smoothly as planned. Some are even taking their grievances to social media, recounting missed deliveries and out-of-stock products.
Perhaps FreshDirect tried to bite off more than it could chew, offering prepared meals, adding new products and offering same-day delivery for some SKUs, while also constructing a new fulfillment center intended to secure its premier position. It also recently relocated its headquarters to the South Bronx, which was intended to double its business.
Hot on its heels are several competitors, including Amazon and Ahold Delhaize. Ahold Delhaize’s Peapod boasts three decades of online grocery under its belt and has NYC in its growth strategy crosshairs. While it reports $1 billion in sales and enlists 1,500 delivery drivers, however, Peapod hasn’t claimed the same market dominance that FreshDirect enjoyed.
There’s a clear lesson unfolding amid the battle royale for NYC’s online shoppers. Some companies are becoming so enamored with meeting demand that they’re outpacing their ability to put their money where the mouth is. Online food shopping is a rapidly growing industry and shoppers have little patience for delivery mishaps or missing products. As more companies enter the competition, the ones who focus on securing loyalty instead of seeing how many different products they can offer or how fast they can deliver will likely win the crown.
Source: Grocery Dive