Edible Arrangements Buys New Ford Transit Connect Vans

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.

See more about the Ford Transit Connect: www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect

No comments: