- Freshly plans to open a new facility in the Atlanta metro area in mid-February followed by more facilities in other, as-yet undisclosed locations later this year, the meal delivery startup announced on Wednesday.
- At 134,000 square feet, the facility will be the largest dedicated order-assembly facility for Freshly as the company looks to expand its assembly and distribution operations to meet growing customer demand, and cut order-to-delivery wait times.
- Freshly’s continued growth stems from its acquisition by Nestlé late last year, co-founder and CEO Mike Wystrach said in the announcement.
The facility will be Freshly’s fifth and its first in the South. The compay's other production facilities are in California, New Jersey, Maryland and Arizona.
The Georgia facility is expected to ramp up assembly and distribution operations capacity by 40% this year, leading to an additional 450,000 meals for weekly distribution, and cut order-to-delivery wait times, the press release said.
Wystrach previously told Grocery Dive that reducing delivery time is a “big focus” for the company for the next few years with the goal of getting it down to as little as next-day. “If you’re a first time customer, it can take up to 12 days because we’re that backed up,” Wystrach said in October. “We want to change that.”
The company recently started operating a warehouse in Southern California as part of its strategy to increase capacity and product offerings.
The upcoming facility in Austell, Georgia, will bring more than 150 jobs to the greater Atlanta area during the initial phase of the facility. By the end of this year, Freshly is looking to hire at least 250 people to work at the facility, the company said.
As companies look to differentiate themselves in the prepared foods and meal delivery space, Freshly plowed forward with several efforts in 2020 — what Wystrach called “a year of monumental growth” for the company in the announcement — to grow its customer base.
Wystrach said that Nestlé’s acquisition of Freshly in October is fueling the company’s growth. “Joining Nestlé has allowed us to scale bigger and faster, getting us to this next stage of growth,” Wystrach said in a statement.
In December, Freshly unveiled new lower-carb, protein-packed lunch and dinner entrees called FreshlyFit that it rolled out at the start of 2021. In January, it reportedly quadrupled the size of its headquarters by moving offices in Manhattan.