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The_Fresh_Market-curbside_pickup-associate.jpg The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market launched its “Friendliest Curbside Experience” program last December to bring its high in-store service level to the online channel.

Curbside pickup gets sweeter at The Fresh Market

Specialty grocer to add free treat to orders under ‘friendliest experience’ program

Next week, curbside pickup customers of The Fresh Market will begin finding a treat in their orders.

The Fresh Market said Wednesday that all curbside orders on Mondays will include a free sample of premium chocolate — an 0.3 oz square of The Fresh Market brand’s Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Dark Chocolate — starting Aug. 30. Complementing the specialty grocer’s “Friendliest Curbside Experience in America” program, the free treat blends the Greensboro, N.C.-based retailer’s “Chocolate Lovers Monday” promotion with its fast-growing click-and-collect service.

“We’re thrilled that our guests appreciate the level of customer service and extra touches our friendly curbside provides, so adding a chocolate treat to Monday orders is just a small gesture of gratitude that we know they’ll enjoy,” Brian Johnson, senior vice president of operations at The Fresh Market, said in a statement.


The free chocolate sample for curbside customers ties into the retailer’s “Chocolate Lovers Monday” promotion.


The Fresh Market launched the “Friendliest Curbside Experience” effort last December as a way to spur online grocery sales and bring its high in-store service level to the e-commerce channel. For curbside customers, the program includes designated personal shoppers, orders that are double-checked by managers and verified with their signature, and wait times of less than five minutes for groceries to be brought to their vehicle. All items in the order are 100% satisfaction guaranteed. The retailer, too, surprises customers with “wow moments,” such as a free bottle of water, piece of fruit or chocolate.

Since launching nine months ago, curbside order volume has surged, according to The Fresh Market. In August, orders are up 28% and first-time orders are up 47%, with the average customer rating of 4.7 out of 5, the retailer said. 

“Our guests compliment us on the great communication they share with the personal shopper throughout the curbside process, quick and friendly service at pickup and the quality food in every order,” Johnson commented.

Curbside pickup is available at all of The Fresh Market’s 159 stores in 22 states. Customers access the service by ordering groceries on the grocer’s website or mobile app. The Fresh Market offers online grocery shopping for pickup or delivery via Instacart, stemming from a partnership formed in 2018.

Online grocery usage has continued to grow, fueled in large part by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just under half of consumers (45%) say they shop online for groceries more now than before the pandemic, according to new research from CPG sales and marketing firm Acosta finds. Of online grocery shoppers, 40% report using pickup service more now than before the crisis, and 46% use delivery more.

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