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    NYC's FreshDirect Launches Street Fight Against Whole Foods

    NEW YORK CITY -- In a pre-emptive strike to defend its turf in Manhattan's Union Square -- where Whole Foods Market is scheduled to open its third New York store later this month -- online grocer FreshDirect has been handing out flyers that offer head-to-head price comparisons with the natural food chain.

    NEW YORK CITY -- In a pre-emptive strike to defend its turf in Manhattan's Union Square -- where Whole Foods Market is scheduled to open its third New York store later this month -- online grocer FreshDirect has been handing out flyers that offer head-to-head price comparisons with the natural food chain.

    The flyer, which compares such items as Stonyfield Farms Yogurt, Amy's Organic Cheese Pizza, and antibiotic-free boneless shell steak, is part of a guerilla marketing campaign put together to remind customers that not only is FreshDirect in the organic business; they're the best at it, and most reasonably-priced.

    "This is the first time we've done anything like it," Steve Druckman, FreshDirect's chief marketing officer told Progressive Grocer. "Union Square is a good market for us, and we plan to hold our ground when it comes to natural and organic foods."

    FreshDirect launched its organic program approximately nine months ago as a response to customer demand. "When we first launched FreshDirect, one of the most sought-after items was organic," explained Dana Smith, marketing manager.

    Other marketing programs currently underway at FreshDirect include an outdoor advertising campaign touting the online retailer's prepared foods offering, called "Winter Menu," which includes a variety of offerings prepared on-site by a famous NYC chef. Customers choose from a variety of menu items; the meal arrives ready to eat with minimal preparation on the customers' side.

    When the Whole Foods unit does open in Union Square, the marketing folks at FreshDirect plan to hit the area again hard, with several marketing campaigns simultaneously.

    At press time, Whole Foods Market had not returned phone calls seeking comment.

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