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fresh_Direct_menus.jpgI haven’t been in a local supermarket since my first Fresh Direct delivery a couple of years ago. I thought the only thing that would make Fresh Direct better was if they’d come over and cook your dinner. And now they’ve done the next best thing.

When I logged on to place my weekly order on Tuesday, I found that Fresh Direct has added a way to order all the ingredients for over 400 excellent recipes — and everything you need to make them — in one quick click. They even e-mail you the recipe on the day they deliver the food.
Unlike recipes found on many sites, Fresh Direct’s recipes have been tested by well-known chefs and cookbook authors. The leaden flan I made using a recipe from a random site taught me that you need to know recipes have been tested before you serve them to dinner guests. Fresh Direct has got that aspect well covered.
fresh_direct_ingredients.jpgA Usability Marvel
Customers can search and sort using criteria such as main ingredient, level of difficulty, theme, number of people to be served, type of cuisine, cooking method, and more. Choices include vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher, and heart healthy. When a recipe has been selected, the ingredient list becomes a virtual shopping list. They even make it easy to exclude the ingredients, like salt and pepper, that you probably already have on hand. Hey, Benny Bix wants to know: can you add recipes for dog biscuits?
Peer to peer features planned
I spoke to Neal Bayless, Executive Producer of the Fresh Direct Creative Group, who told me that the recipe feature, which was created by an in-house team, has been in development for a year or so. Initial results are “very encouraging” and an advertising campaign will soon launch in “very prominent media.”
Bayless says that plans are being made to allow customers to interact with the site, probably beginning by allowing them to enter and shop for the ingredients in their own recipes. Also under consideration is a feedback and rating system that would give the recipes a peer to peer functionality.”No traditional grocer or market can offer this kind of convenience,” Steve Michaelson, president of FreshDirect correctly noted.
And you can shop in your pajamas at 3 a.m.
FreshDirect One-Click Recipes currently features over 400 of the best recipes compiled by Workman Publishing from 53 cookbooks, including: The Silver Palate and The New Basics both by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins, The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen,, and French Laundry and Bouchon, both by Thomas Keller, just to name a few. New recipes will be added to the site regularly, including seasonal menus and contributions from Real Simple magazine.
I am in total agtreement with the FreshDirect customer who says, the company “has, in fact, changed my life. Since I started ordering, I actually have food around the house, I’ve found about two hours extra time in my week, and I’ve somehow saved money on groceries. All that and I can do my food shopping in my pajamas.”