NEW YORK – Online grocer FreshDirect unveiled the company’s new 400,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility in the South Bronx area of New York City.
Called FreshDirect Campus (FDC), the facility enables the company to offer more products to customers and better supply its on-demand business called FoodKick, the company said. The FDC is equipped with robotic pick towers, smart routing technologies and nine miles of conveyor belts, according to the company. Temperature controlled areas of the warehouse are designed to handle and store fresh meat, seafood, produce, bakery and deli products, in additions to prepared food items. Premium ice cream is stored in a specific freezer room, while items such as bananas, tomatoes and onions are stored in refrigerated rooms that provide optimal conditions.
An internal quality control app called FDQC enables employees to monitor, track and share all daily quality ratings of every fresh item based on real-time inspection decisions, according to Fresh Direct.
“The launch of the FreshDirect Campus is the culmination of 16 years of learnings that have enabled us to reinvent the grocery industry with customer experience, food quality, and sustainability at its core,” said FreshDirect CEO and co-founder, Jason Ackerman. “This marks a pivotal moment for our business, while positioning us for future growth. We can also better serve the community by providing greater access to fresh food and significantly reducing food waste, cardboard use, and energy consumption. We are thrilled to officially be a part of the Bronx community and are very thankful for the local support we’ve received throughout this journey.”
FreshDirect delivers groceries directly to consumers in seven states and the District of Columbia. The FDC, according to the company, enabled the addition of thousands of new products to the company’s offerings including more than 800 new snacking items, more than 500 new organic products and more than 350 “new brands that are disrupting the food industry.”
The FreshDirect Campus is an environmentally friendly and energy efficient facility that has enabled FreshDirect to transition from cardboard delivery boxes to recyclable woven bags. The company expects to save 10 million cardboard boxes annually.
The FDC has a cafeteria and employee store. Personal shoppers receive orders at a stationary pack station, the company said. FreshDirect personal shoppers work with the same 20 to 30 fresh products daily so they can develop expertise in their select products and better maintain quality standards.
“When we launched this business 16 years ago, we set out to source the very best fresh food for our customers and that maniacal focus on food quality is still at our core today. We’ve built a world-class fresh food facility that enables us to better execute our farm to fork mission,” said David McInerney, co-founder and Chief Food Adventurer at FreshDirect. “Our FreshDirect Campus empowers our in-house team of food experts to source, prepare, handle, and deliver better-tasting, higher-quality food than anyone else.”