Over the last decade, the number of perishable foods sold online has increased exponentially, and the pandemic increased e-commerce food sales even further. Therefore, many companies are looking for ways to sell perishable foods directly to consumers. What are some reasons why companies should sell perishable foods directly to consumers? How can this be done through the internet in a streamlined way?

What Are the Advantages of Selling Perishable Foods Directly to the Consumer?

Some of the top advantages of selling perishable foods direct to consumer include:

  • There is no middleman that gets in the way of the transaction
  • This channel has the lowest cost of entry
  • This is a channel that leads to repeat sales through subscriptions
  • This is the quickest way to get food to market
  • This option has the least number of decision-makers, streamlining the process
  • There is no need for shelf space at a retailer or a distribution service
  • This sales channel has the highest margin
  • This option works well with other channels
  • The DTC channel scales well
  • This option is perfect for foods that are not always available through a local market

These are just a few of the many advantages of selling perishable foods directly to the consumer. Companies that sell perishable foods directly to consumers will develop a strong relationship with their customers through email addresses, phone numbers, and purchase histories. This strong relationship can lead to repeat sales and subscription programs that encourages customers to re-engage and develop brand loyalty. Companies can even solicit customers to become product testers and build a strong brand identity, driving a strong return on investment. What is the best way for a company to sell perishable foods directly to the consumer?

Options for Selling Perishable Foods Directly to The Consumer

Developing a strong digital presence is more or less a requirement for selling perishable foods directly to consumers. With that being said, consider the following options to fully leverage online sales:

  • Digital Sales: In this method, a producer will advertise products for sale on platforms such as Google and Facebook. These digital marketing methods steer potential clients directly to an ecommerce website where the consumer can learn about ultimately purchase the product. We love Shopify as our website ecommerce platform of choice.
  • Email Lists: Using this strategy, a company builds a list of emails and then sends emails directly to the email. What works best is a combination of monthly promotion eblasts along with automated flows such as a welcome series or abandoned cart flow. These emails contain offers, call to actions and links that direct consumers back to the website or specific landing pages to complete a purchase.
  • Third Party Website: Companies can sell products directly to consumers using third-party websites, such as Amazon. While Amazon does not offer fulfillment for frozen or refrigerated items, you can use a third party logistics provider to fulfill your Amazon orders.
  • Social Media: Building an audience on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram enable you to engage with followers through regularly posted content. This practically mandatory in today’s environment with any brand worth their salt having a strong social media presence.
  • Influencer Marketing: This is another strategy that involves partnering with individuals and/or brands that have a strong internet presence, particularly social media, but may also include blogs and email lists. These content creators can promote your brand to their following in exchange for product or for a fee. It’s a great way to leverage the trust and credibility these influencers have with their followers to get you sales.

Many companies will blend many of these marketing tactics together to drive DTC sales for perishable foods.


Ship frozen food

Building a Supply Chain

When companies are trying to sell perishable foods, they need to focus on building a strong supply chain. The components include:

  • A co-manufacturer, which produces the food or packages it for distribution to end-users.
  • A third-party logistics center (3PL), which is the storage and fulfillment warehouse that could serve multiple clients.
  • Intercity transport services, which require refrigerated trucks.
  • Last-mile delivery services, which can be the most expensive component in the supply chain.

It is important for companies to tailor their supply chains to meet their specific needs. For example, fresh and frozen foods are not the same. Fresh foods encompass a wider range of options and usually have a shorter shelf life when compared to frozen foods, which can be easier to transport due to the greater shipping flexibility. That is why you should rely on a professional 3PL to help you.

Contact Gray Growth Strategies for Help Selling Perishable Foods

At Gray Growth Strategies, we work closely with your team to focus on your business objectives and product flows. We have experience working with both start-ups to established companies looking to grow their direct-to-consumer e-commerce operations. Contact us today to learn more at (212) 247-1800 or (888) 998-8762, or email us at rfgray@graygrowth.com.