Edible Arrangements 'Greens' Fleet with Ford Transit Connect Vans

Jan 18, 2010, 17:47 ET from Ford Motor Company

DETROIT, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

SUMMARY

  • Edible Arrangements International is the leading purveyor of artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements. The company recently purchased 20 Ford Transit Connect vehicles for its fleet program. They are used by Edible Arrangement franchisees to deliver fresh fruit arrangements to customers throughout the country.

  • Edible Arrangements was impressed by the fuel efficiency of the Transit Connect. They also liked the drivability of the vehicle. Compared to traditional cargo vans, the Transit Connect is simpler to load/unload and easier to maneuver and park in residential areas. They also were attracted to the vehicle's eye-catching design, especially since their delivery vans also are used as a marketing tool for the company.

  • Transit Connect, the 2010 North American Truck of the Year, is equipped with a 2.0-liter I-4 engine and four-speed automatic overdrive transmission combination, rated at 22 mpg city, 25 highway. Transit Connect starts at $21,475, including destination.

CONTEXT / BACKGROUND

The owners of Edible Arrangements say they fell in love with the Transit Connect when they first saw the vehicle in England a couple of years back. Since then, they've been waiting for it to come to the U.S. The company's franchisees do many deliveries throughout the course of the day. And since freshness is the mainstay of their products, they make frequent trips back and forth to the store. They say the size of the Transit Connect and the fuel efficiency it provides is perfect for their needs.

Many of the company's franchisees are beginning to replace their older, larger cargo vans with Transit Connect through the company's fleet program. So far, Edible Arrangements has purchased 20 Transit Connects, and plans are under way to buy 15 to 20 more vehicles each month as more and more franchisees replace their older delivery vans.

Learn more about Edible Arrangements at www.ediblearrangements.com.

DETAILS

Edible Arrangements International is the leading purveyor of delicious, high-quality, artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements that are practical and healthy gifts. Headquartered in Wallingford, Conn., the company has more than 940 locations operating or opening soon worldwide.

The company's franchisees currently use traditional cargo vehicles, such as the Dodge Sprinter, to deliver arrangements. Because freshness is essential to product quality, drivers make frequent trips back and forth to the store throughout the day to pick up new arrangements, averaging a minimum of 200 miles daily.

Kamran Farid, COO of Edible Arrangements, says he fell in love with Transit Connect when he first saw the vehicle in England a couple of years ago. He thought it would be an ideal delivery van for his franchisees because it is just the right size for their needs, it delivers excellent fuel economy and the Transit Connect's eye-catching design makes it a valuable branding tool for the company.

Many of Edible Arrangements' franchisees are beginning to replace their older, larger delivery vans. The company has made the Transit Connect available through its fleet program. Currently, Edible Arrangements has purchased 20 Transit Connects, but Farid says plans are under way to buy 15 to 20 vehicles a month until all of the older vehicles are replaced. Edible Arrangements' fleet currently operates 1,300 vehicles throughout the country.

Edible Arrangements customized the Transit Connect with shelving and refrigerated the cargo area. The company worked closely with Ford and ThermoKing to develop an electric-driven refrigeration system -- powered from the vehicle alternator instead of the engine – that requires less horsepower and consumes less fuel.

"Franchisees using the new Transit Connect couldn't be happier with the vehicle," says Farid. They are saving a lot of money on gas, and the vehicle is much easier to maneuver through city streets and in and out of parking spaces. And because the doors open on both sides of the vehicle, it is much easier for drivers to load and unload products.

According to Farid, franchisees also love the styling of the Transit Connect. "The vehicle stands out," he says. "It's unique, and it gets people's attention, making it an excellent marketing tool for the company."

The Transit Connect, recently named 2010 North American Truck of the Year, is powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine, mated to a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission. This combination is EPA- rated at 22 mpg city, 25 highway, representing a significant fuel economy increase – essentially doubling the fuel economy – over full-size vans.

The Transit Connect is available at Ford dealerships throughout the country.

QUOTES

"The biggest 'green' imprint we can make as a company is to save fuel and reduce emissions with our delivery vehicles. The Transit Connect is not only more fuel-efficient, but it is easier to drive than larger cargo vans and it is much more stylish."  

-- Kamran Farid, chief operating officer, Edible Arrangements

"The Transit Connect is ideal for small business owners and groups who until now have not had a vehicle designed just for them. Now businesses like Edible Arrangements have a vehicle that will help them become more efficient in their day-to-day operations."

-- Damoni Hurt, marketing manager, Ford Transit Connect

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:  F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

About Edible Arrangements

Edible Arrangements International, Inc., is the leading purveyor of delicious, high quality, artistically designed, fresh fruit arrangements that are practical and healthy gifts. Founded in 1999 in East Haven, CT. by Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements earned the 27th spot on Entrepreneur Magazine's "2008 Hot 100 List of Fastest-Growing Businesses in America." With over 940 locations operating or opening soon worldwide, Edible Arrangements is rapidly expanding across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Italy, Turkey and Hong Kong. Customers may order arrangements by telephone at 1-877-DO-FRUIT, at one of the company's retail stores, or on-line at ediblearrangements.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company



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