The demand for online food has increased massively since the spread of the coronavirus. In Germany, for example, the e-food market is growing by 142 percent.1 Since long waiting periods and delivery bottlenecks occur both offline and online, manufacturers are now increasingly turning directly to end consumers. Even traditional food manufacturers, which previously focused on B2B business only, are now pursuing direct-to-consumer (D2C) approaches.
In Ricola’s recently launched webshop We care by Ricola, care packages can be ordered for colleagues, friends or family members including a personal message – and sent directly to the desired recipient.
At Heinz, Heinz to Home is now available as a pre-assembled food box consisting of three different products; and Aptamil makes part of its product assortment available in the Aptashop, but limits orders to two products per order and one order per week to ensure a fair distribution of available products. Remarkable about this is the fast implementation within a short period of time: Ricola, for example, reports only three weeks from the idea to the actual launch. This is even surpassed by Lindt Canada. Within just five days, the online shop went live.2
Lindt Canada donates one Gold Bunny for a frontline worker for every order; for every care package ordered from Ricola, one Swiss franc is donated to a coronavirus fund, and Heinz offers free delivery for all frontline workers, in gratitude for their work and commitment.
However, D2C is no novelty. It was already considered a trend, both before corona and outside of the e-food sector. More and more manufacturers, especially in the CPG market, see the potential that results from direct contact with their customers.
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