Edible Arrangements first introduced the healthy fresh fruit bouquet concept in 1999, with one outlet in East Haven, CT. Fifteen years later, the innovative company is celebrating its non-stop success by announcing a series of recent achievements.
Breaking the Half-Billion Dollar Sales Mark
2013 saw the company and its franchisees reach $500 million in worldwide sales. This continues an overall growth trajectory that has averaged 11% a year. The good news is compounded by growth in total stores. With 27 new franchise agreements signed and 17 new stores opened worldwide in the first quarter of 2014, there are now about 1,200 Edible Arrangements retail locations in 13 countries and, as of today, 49 U.S. states. A franchise agreement was just inked in Montana, leaving only Alaska to complete the nation.
Growth in Ancillary Businesses
Edible Arrangements also saw growth in its subsidiaries, BerryDirect and EA Connect, and sister company, Netsolace. BerryDirect is a major supplier of creative containers and other patented dry goods used by Edible Arrangements, while EA Connect comprises the company’s website and call center operations. Netsolace creates proprietary software for use by franchisees. Edible Arrangements also has hired more than 40 employees at its Wallingford, CT, headquarters since July 2013, including many in new management positions designed to bring leading edge capabilities to the growing organization.
Expanded Marketing Efforts
A multimillion dollar marketing and advertising campaign is set to break in May, featuring Edible Arrangements’ most extensive TV presence in the company’s history. The advertising campaign is led by the Richards Group and Horizon Media, Inc.
Consumers will reap rewards from the company’s 15th Anniversary as well. Edible Arrangements is offering a selection of elegant dipped fruit boxes for just $15, beginning this week.
New Growth Categories
Edible Arrangements continues to launch compelling new concepts in healthy fresh fruit – a food that is not only universally loved but also a perfect fit for any of today’s myriad diet options. Recent hot sellers include the newly launched Fresh-tini Collection of fresh fruits arranged in colorful, cocktail style containers. The company also is exploring new store formats, including three new Edible To Go mall locations opened in the past year in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Arizona. Mall locations offer fresh fruit smoothies and juices, fruit salads, treats, snacks and gifts – as well as arrangements — in a convenient kiosk setting.
“Providing guests with a Wow! experience they can’t get anywhere else is what attracts people to Edible Arrangements and sets us apart from others,” says Founder and Chief Executive Officer Tariq Farid. “So we are constantly focused on maintaining and enhancing that experience – from the quality of our fruit, to the innovation of our designs, to the care and service in our stores and on our website. We want the Edible Arrangements experience to be so amazing, it helps everyone remember to celebrate what’s good in life.”
An Immigrant Whose American Dream Came True
Like Farid himself, the company had modest beginnings. Born in Pakistan, he arrived in the U.S. with his family in 1981 at age 12. His first store was a 600-square-foot shop in East Haven, CT. But on the strength of his innovative products–along with bushels of hard work and long hours by members of the Farid family—the business took off. Two years later, the first Edible Arrangements franchise store opened in Waltham, MA. Just 5 years after that, the 500th store opened in Chicago.
The company has been heralded by the likes of Inc. and Entrepreneur magazines, Forbes.com and The Wall Street Journal as a “Fastest Growing Company,” “Hot 100 Franchise,” “Best Franchise Brand” and “Top Franchise for the Money,” while Tariq Farid has been honored as Entrepreneur of the Year by both the International Franchise Association and Ernst & Young.
As for the future, Farid feels confident that the best is yet to come. “As the popularity of fresh fruit continues to grow, and Edible Arrangements introduces attractive new concepts in more and more locations, I see a world of growth still ahead,” he says.