Home CompaniesB2C Gift Giving Expectations Are Shifting. Here’s How Edible Is Keeping Up With New Trends.

Gift Giving Expectations Are Shifting. Here’s How Edible Is Keeping Up With New Trends.

by Maija Ehlinger

There’s no mistaking when a gift from Edible arrives at a party. The company’s colorful and flavorful gift baskets have become a staple at office holidays and birthday celebrations over the last 25 years.

But keeping a direct-to-consumer brand fresh and relevant for over a quarter of a century is no easy feat, no matter how strong their brand recognition might be. Newly appointed Edible President Somia Farid Silber knew name ID wasn’t going to be enough to grow the business. As a Millennial Mom, she is ready to give Edible a brand refresh that resonates with the next generation of gift-givers. Silber, who is based in Atlanta, gave us some insights into how she thinks about growing the business and what’s next for Edible in this Q&A: 

QUESTION: For those who don’t know, take us back to the origin story of Edible. Who was your original customer base? 

To take you back, Edible was conceived while my father worked at his own flower shop in East Haven, Connecticut at just 17 years old. In 1999, he had the idea to tap into a unique market by creating similar arrangements but elevating them by combining Americans’ rising preference for fresh fruits, and Edible Arrangements was born! This concept was especially timely given the increasing demand in the specialty food market then and society’s desire to splurge on gifts. Edible’s first customers included locals in East Haven searching for a clever and creative gift, but our base quickly evolved to a national audience with the establishment of Edible’s first franchise location in Waltham, Massachusetts – and the demand was exceptional. 

Since then, we have continued to grow. During Edible’s beginning years, it took our teams an entire day to make 28 arrangements, and now we have stores that can produce more than 1,000 orders on a single holiday. We thank our dedication to quality customer service as the true catalyst for our success. In our business, customers approach us for every occasion– from the great moments to the not-so-great – and when they share them with us, it immediately builds that connection. 

Somia Farid Silber

Today, we have nearly 1,000 storefronts globally, with dedicated franchisees that place the same value on personalization and customer service. And, as part of our brand relaunch, we’re eager to welcome a new generation of trendsetting gifters (and self-gifters!).

 

QUESTION: How did Atlanta come into the company’s story? 

We had already had a presence in Atlanta through one of our software companies but made the official relocation to Atlanta in 2018. The move was strategic as we started to think more about scaling the business. Not only is the city home to top-notch franchise and tech talent, but also its location is centrally located, making it the right home for Edible. 

 

QUESTION:  E-commerce has had an interesting last couple of years. How did Edible navigate COVID and supply chain issues that plagued 2020 and 2021? 

Prior to this role, I led the e-commerce business for Edible, and I can say firsthand that this was a complex period, but actually one of big growth for Edible. While we couldn’t have anticipated the effects of the pandemic, it was an excellent learning experience and set us up for the brand refresh we just launched. 

E-commerce is something we’ve always done well, so having this infrastructure in place allowed us to deliver the same quality “wow” products immediately for all types of gifting moments and occasions. We were able to tweak and leverage our online ordering platform and third-party delivery partnerships to reach more people over the past three years.

We embraced these obstacles and tackled them head-on, which helped us engage new customers along the way, especially as loved ones started sending each other more gifts because they couldn’t physically get together. Today, on average, 80% of our franchisee’s orders come directly from our website. However, we recognize that the market is turning toward wanting those in-person experiences again, which is the driving force behind Edible’s brand relaunch and next-gen store concept. Through my experience leading the e-commerce portion of our business, I’ve seen how business can ebb and flow due to our decisions and world events. 

In short – the pandemic felt like a lifetime of a career within three years and prepared me to take on this new role.

QUESTION: Has your customer base transformed over the last few years? If so, how? 

Consumer behavior constantly evolves, even more so in the previous few years, so embracing change is essential for staying ahead of the curve in today’s fast-paced market. In 2019, for example, we introduced the Gifts Under $50 category on our website, which was previously a small selection of offerings. At the time, most of our gifts had an average price tag of $85 – $90, though we realized there were so many moments and occasions where a smaller arrangement made sense for gift-givers. This insight opened the door to a new set of customers, as we saw a 100% increase in orders from Gen Z consumers and helped us mold the strategy for the brand refresh even further. We’ve also introduced new delivery capabilities, and today, we can deliver to 80% of households in the U.S. within one hour, a direct result of the consumer expectation for convenience and immediacy.   

As we usher in this new generation, we’ve learned that it’s about providing easy solutions for gifting and helping our customers make those special moments unique. It’s a personal experience for the gifter, and we’ve been leaning into that – how do we help our customers feel like they are a part of the gifting process? How can we show the recipient the thought and care put into their gift? 

In addition to this, the shift back to more in-person gatherings has provided an excellent opportunity for Edible to come in and serve as a co-hosting partner, drawing on that ease and convenience factor. It led us to develop our dessert board offerings, expanding beyond fresh fruit arrangements to baked goods and other delectable treats, positioning ourselves as a go-to solution for party hosts. As a Millennial mom to a toddler, I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be to juggle food prep and mingling with my guests, so I’m eager to use that insight to resonate with people like me. Parents – across all generations – are constantly outsourcing to dedicate more of our time and focus to our loved ones and building those points of connection. At Edible, we provide a great solution to this stress point, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money for us to be able to provide convenience. We can make occasions more personal and memorable for our customers while gifting them back a highly valued item of their own: time. 

 

QUESTION: How do you think about customer acquisition in 2024? 

We are continually reimagining our business model to keep up with evolving consumer behavior, putting the consumer – what they want and what they need – at the center of our acquisition strategy. We know that our consumer seeks a convenient experience and have begun implementing strategies to deliver that ease of experience to our consumers already. At Edible, we’re known for our ability to deliver to 80% of the country in one hour, providing stress-free and accessible last-minute gifting options. We’re also committed to expanding the accessibility of our experience for consumers by bringing back our pre-2020 store hours, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Again, keeping our consumers’ need for flexibility top of mind. 

QUESTION:  What are your most common products right now? 

While our fruit arrangements remain popular, we’re very excited about our expanded range of delectable offerings. We understand that not everyone is looking for a fruit arrangement, so as we considered ways to attract new consumers, providing fresh offerings – including our Bakeshop offerings like cupcakes, brownies, cheesecakes and event floral bouquets – to go along with every unique gifting moment was a significant priority for us. Today, you don’t have to buy the classic arrangements or chocolate-dipped selections (though they’re still crowd-favorites) – we now offer a variety of decadent treats, and so much more!

 

QUESTION:  How big is the team in Atlanta? 

Our current Atlanta team is about 120 team members and growing. We’re excited to have a dynamic office in Atlanta with thriving culture. We’ve cultivated a real sense of camaraderie at the headquarters. In fact, our product team shares treats and other goodies from our offerings in the office at least twice a week. 

 

 

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