- Newly launched Cooks Venture, a company providing what it describes as pasture-raised, slow-growth heirloom chickens, has inked a distribution deal with New York City-based grocery delivery service FreshDirect, according to a company press release.
- Shoppers at FreshDirect and FoodKick, FreshDirect's on-demand delivery service, can now order Cooks Venture’s chickens for $3.99 per pound. The offering will soon include rotisserie chickens.
- Blue Apron co-founder and former COO Matthew Wadiak launched Cooks Venture last month and sells its products online to consumers nationwide. FreshDirect’s on-demand delivery service offers food, alcohol and household essentials in as little as one hour.
The partnership between FreshDirect and Cooks Ventures stands to be mutually beneficial. Cooks Venture will gain visibility through the e-grocer's popular platform, and FreshDirect has the opportunity to showcase a specialty product that might not be available through other local grocers. This partnership is particularly interesting because neither company is a traditional food or grocery business.
Although FreshDirect is the reigning online grocer in New York City with 63% of market share, according to Bloomberg, its ongoing expansion plan has encountered a number of hiccups as the retailer adapts to its new, high-tech Bronx facility. Partnering with Cooks Venture could be a way to shore up loyalty among the coastal crowd’s health and sustainability-focused foodies as FreshDirect faces mounting competition from Walmart, Amazon and Ahold Delhaize's Peapod.
Cooks Venture, meanwhile, aims to tap into a growing direct-to-consumer protein market, which includes ventures like Crowd Cow and Porter Road. The company has purchased two processing facilities in Oklahoma along with an 800-acre farm in Arkansas, and says it's the first company of its scale in the U.S. that produces only slow growing, pasture-raised birds with unrestricted outdoor access. In addition to retail sales, Cooks will sell its birds online beginning at $40 for two slow-growth, pasture-raised heirloom chickens, four for $70 and six for $90.
Unconventional tie-ups between food companies and retailers will likely continue to crop up as the grocery delivery space becomes more crowded and retailers attempt to diversify themselves and build customer loyalty. Shoppers have the advantage in the grocery delivery space right now, with a plethora of options that they can explore at their leisure.
Jet.com recently partnered with New York City institution Fulton Fish Market to offer the seafood vendor’s fresh catches through its food delivery service, an enticing offering for city dwellers who don’t have the time to visit the storied Bronx fish market.
San Francisco Bay Area grocery delivery service Farmstead recently partnered with Kraft Heinz to supply Farmstead shoppers with pantry staples including Heinz Ketchup, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Jell-O, Kraft Mac & Cheese and more. Farmstead focuses primarily on offering natural, local and organic products, but adding some traditional crowd favorites to its lineup increases the odds that consumers will use Farmstead for their entire grocery trip.