In a turbulent year when many companies struggled to find their footing, Edible® leaned on its innovation to find success amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When COVD-19 cases first starting rising and the country began to shut down, we noticed a lot of people weren’t finding what they needed at grocery stores, so Edible® quickly decided to launch fresh produce boxes to help people get fruit and vegetables delivered to their homes,” says Patricia Perry, vice president of franchise development for Edible®.
Perry says the brand’s support center was able to innovate quickly and launch several successful new categories this year, including the Edible Bakeshop™, which features baked goods like cookies, cheesecakes, and brownies; Edible Music™, which bundles products with downloadable music; and FruitFlowers™ which features fresh flower arrangements with delicious dipped fruit.
As a result of all these efforts along with all of the hard work from the brand’s resilient and experienced franchisees, Perry says Edible’s® sales broke company records this year. By August, year-over-year sales were up by 60 percent after growing by 55 percent in June and July and 38 percent in April.
“We’re a unique franchise, because we offer a truly omni-channel experience with a robust e-commerce platform that’s complementary to the in-store retail component,” Perry says. “2021 will be the year to continue the transformation of the brand.”
Part of the transformation efforts include the rollout of a new store prototype, which measures in at 1,500 square feet and will feature a dedicated area for the new Edible Bakeshop™, as well as for whole produce. It will also have optional seating where guests can wait while orders are produced and will move the back-of-house operations to the front of house. This will allow customers to customize their orders and see employees following safe-handling procedures. The new prototype will also feature dedicated third-party pick-up areas, curbside pick-up, and—in some locations—drive-thru service.
With a network of more than 1,000 existing stores and the brand’s delivery vans, Perry says Edible® can already deliver products to 75 percent of U.S. zip codes across the country. While this is a high level of coverage, Perry says Edible® wants to increase its coverage to 100 percent and will achieve this by developing new stores in areas where the brand doesn’t have a presence. While opportunities abound, the brand is specifically targeting operators who will develop stores in markets, such as Alaska, Oregon, Wyoming, Nebraska, Northern California, Florida, and Washington.
“We’re looking for people who are connected to their communities, passionate about creating exceptional customer experiences, and have experience operating other successful food concepts. We are targeting multi-unit operators looking to expand and diversify their portfolios,” Perry says. “Restaurant franchisees that have worked with delivery and in-store retail would have a competitive advantage because they understand the complexities of the food business.”
To learn more about becoming an Edible® franchisee, visit ediblefranchise.com.