The Problem with Fresh Direct

Fresh Direct, a local internet grocer, has drawn plenty of public criticism for a number of reasons. People complain about their idling trucks (which take up parking spaces and waste gas), their choice of which neighborhoods to deliver to, and their packaging methods, which can be wasteful. And then there was the lady who claimed her FD delivery guy mugged her.

In my own experience, I use Fresh Direct occasionally, picking up myself at their warehouse, cause I’m in the neighborhood, and cause I got used to doing that back when they–inexplicably–did not deliver to their neighborhood. And while I think they should find another packing method that does not leave boxes all over the city, as they deliver, I haven’t before gotten orders from them that were terribly overpackaged. Until now.

First, I opened one box, and found this box of tea in its own massive box:

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At this point, I went for my camera. I wanted to document this ugly overpackaging moment.

Then, I opened the box below it (in the photo), and found this small pint of tomatoes (I think) in a plastic bag, again alone inside a massive box:

freshd2

At this point, I was screaming and running around the apartment in horror.

If you ask them, Fresh Direct will say they pack items in boxes according to what part of the store the items came from (so cold stuff is in a box together in a cold place, veggies are together in an appropriate temperature, dry groceries together, and so on. But why not take a minute, before heading out the door, to consolidate items which could live together in one box? And why not find some system whereby your customers could recycle those boxes back to you?

Shame on you, Fresh Direct! I guess in the past I have ordered things which fit in a box together. This was the first time I have seen anything like this. And now I know why they’re losing customers, big time.

3 comments ↓

#1 nani on 08.01.06 at 3:39 pm

The packaging alone is why I stopped using Fresh Direct! I was sick of opening a gigantic box, only to find a tiny little wedge of cheese or something in there.

#2 verbalchameleon on 08.01.06 at 6:51 pm

Yeah, I feel that way now too.

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