OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The tremendous jump in online ordering of groceries has been a major headline for the retail food segment, and Farm 2 Fork is among companies big and small to seize the opportunity to gain market share.
Farm 2 Fork, a meat delivery service based in Canada, recently announced the expansion of the company’s service to Toronto. The company offers an order-as-you-go model so consumers can purchase local and Canadian-sourced meat and seafood when they want it without subscribing to a service. Farm 2 Fork said more consumers were buying large bulk orders to stock their freezers and limit the number of food deliveries and trips to the grocery store during the pandemic.
In fact, during the pandemic more customers purchased large bulk orders to stock their freezer and limit the number of deliveries they receive. In 2020, the company’s average order size was more than C$400.
“Of course, during the pandemic, we saw a big spike in new customers because people wanted to avoid stores but still get quality meat,” said Jonnel Sloane, founder of Farm 2 Fork. “But they didn’t necessarily want to commit to a subscription service or a contract because ordering meat online was still new to them, so our order-as-you-go was appealing.
“But almost all of those new customers that we acquired have re-ordered multiple times, and I think that speaks to a larger trend,” Sloane said. “People want to know exactly where their food is coming from, and how it was raised, produced, or farmed. It isn’t just about organic or not organic, Canadian or not Canadian food anymore — people want to know about the values behind their food.”
Farm 2 Fork focuses on naturally raised meat from small-scale producers and sustainably sourced seafood, attributes that are especially attractive to online meat shoppers, according to the 2021 Power of Meat study prepared by 210 Analytics and sponsored by Sealed Air, a Cryovac division.
“Consistent with findings from FMI’s US Grocery Shopper Trends research, online meat shoppers have an elevated interest in health, sustainability, social responsibility and animal welfare,” the study said. “Online ordering platforms provide convenient ways to link to nutritional information and the brands’ and retailer practices and standards in each of these areas.”
Sloan attributed Farm 2 Fork’s growth to consumer demand for transparency about where the foods they buy are sourced.
“They want the kind of transparency that large traditional stores have trouble providing,” he said. “That's why Farm 2 Fork keeps growing so quickly. People want to know where their food comes from, but don't want to have to spend all that time sourcing things. They still want the convenience aspect, which is exactly what we provide. Convenience, and transparency.”