- Door to Door Organics, the online natural and organic grocer, launched a meal planning tool that offers recipe suggestions based on the items shoppers add to their carts, according to a press release. Customers can view the recipes while they shop, and add any items they need to complete the meal.
- The new tool has rolled out to customers in six states and Washington, D.C., and will expand across Door to Door’s 17-state footprint in October.
- “This new service differentiates us from our competitors by conveniently combining our online grocery delivery with the way our customers plan meals, customize their orders, utilize recipes and shop for complete meals all in one step,” Mike Demko, CEO of Door to Door Organics, said in the release. “We believe the ease of integrating meal planning with grocery shopping will change the way our customers plan, shop and enjoy fresh, healthy meals every day.”
Fresh produce, dairy and meat items are tough to deliver at a reliably high quality, but Door to Door Organics has gotten quite good at the practice in the 20 years it’s been in business. The online grocer, which specializes in these fresh offerings, operates four distribution centers that are optimized to pick and pack orders, and get them out to customers across the company’s operating area in a timely fashion.
Its operations solidified, Door to Door Organics is looking to acquire more customers and shore up loyalty in the wake of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal. Taking a cue from meal kit companies, which also compete with the service, Door to Door’s new recipe-building tool shows customers how to make tasty meals using some of their favorite ingredients. In addition to enhancing the value of orders, the new tool stands to increase basket sizes by nudging shoppers to add ingredients to complete a meal.
The tool serves as a differentiator for Door to Door Organics in the pure-play online grocery market. But it’s less of a novelty in the larger grocery industry, which is seeing more technology and services dedicated to recipe building. Harris Teeter just partnered with recipe platform Myxx to create a customized site, HarrisTeeterRecipes.com, where customers can select online recipes and then have a shopping list automatically created for them. The Dinner Daily, a third-party service, builds weekly dinner menus using items from shoppers’ preferred grocery stores.
For Door to Door Organics, this is one of numerous moves the company has made in an industry where profit is often elusive. Last year, the company merged with Relay Foods, enhancing Door to Door’s tech capabilities as well as its market reach. In June, the company named Demko, former vice president of operations for New York City’s FreshDirect, its new CEO.
The company is taking some important steps, but it faces increasing competition from retailers that are adding online shopping components to their stores. In a recent interview with FoodNavigator-USA, Demko emphasized Door to Door’s superior quality, customer service and its dedicated warehouse facility. These advantages could continue to serve the company well, but it will have to continue improving as retailers hone their operations and as Whole Foods and Amazon bring their combined expertise to bear on the market.