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How Small-Scale Flower Vendor Tariq Farid Pivoted to $600 Million Company Edible Arrangements

5ab543d499c85f2e008b461cBrief

Ever thought of gulping down a bouquet? No, we are not kidding! Edible Arrangements makes fruits designed bouquets. Started as a flower selling shop in the US, this company is worth $600 million with multiple franchises worldwide.

Edible Arrangement’s founder and CEO, Tariq Farid, who worked at McDonald’s as a teenager, began dreaming of having his own business. When he was just 17 years old, his father handed over a flower shop in East Haven, US, for him to run the business. As an enthusiastic young teen, Farid agreed and set up the shop. Within just four months, his flower shop was able to pay off a $6000 loan.

After his short stint in college, Farid started Netolace, a web solution company for the franchise industry. While running the company, he knew he wanted to take his flower shop to the next level and have multiple franchisees of his own. Moreover, his creative mind wanted to blend flowers with fruits.

“We had three flower shops at that time, and we would always watch young children come in eating fruit. Sometimes, we would make the fruit into flower shapes and send it home with friends. People started asking for it more and more, and I ended up bringing this idea to life”, Farid said.

To bring his crazy idea to life, Farid approached International Franchise Association to take discuss how to take his business off the ground and approached banks for loans who laughed off at his idea of fruits in the basket, but Farid was determined. “I had no money and a crazy idea, but I would sit on the phone with them for hours at a time,” With every question I asked, I learned something,” Farid said.

Alongside his brother Kamran, Farid, COO of Edible Arrangements, opened the first store in 1999 in East Haven. Franchising always intrigued Farid, and it is a basic business model of Edible Arrangements. In 2001, Farid helped open a first franchise store in Waltham, Mass. Now the company has 1,200 franchise storefronts in 11 countries.

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Target Audience

In the initial days, the company focused on individual customers looking for fruits basket and fruit bouquets to gift loved onesBut with the exposure of the brand, the orders started coming in for corporate events, weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. So this fruit confectionery offered a customized design of fruit baskets and launched other items such as smoothies, chocolates dipped fruits, cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, popcorns, and much more.

 

How Edible Arrangements Scaled-up?

1. Social Media Influencing
Instead of advertising discounts on social media, the company chose to try brand awareness via influencer marketing. It sent some low-priced products of GenZ consumers to promote on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook. On Instagram, around 49% increase in engagement was witnessed over the years, whereas Facebook showed an increase of over 7%.

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2. On-point Promotional Messages
Somia Farid Silber, the VP of Edible Arrangements, said that her team paid close attention to the website’s promotional messages & content. The action led to an increase in sales. For eg. Sign up for promotions & special offers on gift products

A great example of tweaking the content- when the company highlighted same-day delivery service and added a countdown, it noticed growth in sales by 8% on the same day.

“Strong and engaging content across channels is necessary to get digital shoppers to stop and consider the brand”, Somia was quoted.

 

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3. Database is the key
Edible Arrangements’ marketing team implemented new tools and strategies to understand the customers better and personalize the shopping experience by analyzing data & interaction on the website. They launched gifts under $30, $50 and for different occasion.  

With better segmentation of the customers, the company could entice the specific audience with better content & offers.

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4.  Platform Segmentation
Somia stressed segmenting the marketing messages as per the advertising platforms to reap the maximum benefits. Whether it is TV, Social Media, Radio, Tabloid, or any other platform- an advertisement must be made to align with the audience.

In 2012, Edible Arrangements launched a groundbreaking TV commercial in collaboration with famous foodscape artist Carl Warner to introduce their ‘Fresh-tini’ collection.

Watch- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP9TFBhHVJk

5. Free-Delivery
Instead of offering discounts such as 20% off on $49 or above, Edible Arrangements started free delivery on every order, garnering major traffic on the website.

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6. Launching Community Supported Agriculture -Style Box

Edible Arrangements launched CSA-style box produce—an assortment of farm fresh whole fruits and vegetables instead of sliced arrangements. The franchise partners and the customers welcomed this idea. This non-arranged fresh fruit boxes became the reason for the best sales in April 2020, with total sales up by 38% compared to April 2019. Mother’s Day in May hit sales all-time high with 700,000 orders on holiday, and June recorded 55% increased sales.

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Sales During Pandemic

Ecommerce drives 80% EA’s sales
Edible Arrangements announced record-breaking sales in the first six months of 2020, the company’s sales were up by 18%, and by the year-end, it touched a staggering 45%. The surprising factor is, in the year 2019, Edible was witnessing a steep double digits fall, but with the start of the pandemic, online sales kicked in. This year, the company recorded the busiest Valentine’s Day and saw double-digit growth in the sales.

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Growing Big & Bigger

The company is continuing to grow. It signed 37 new franchise agreements in 2020. Now, this international confectionery gifts brand has over1,200 store locations worldwide.

 

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