WILTON, Conn. — When David Hack's wife couldn’t buy a case of Luna bars at the local supermarket, he decided that consumers needed a way to purchase speciality food items in bulk.
“I realized that there was a huge opportunity,” Hack said. No website allowed consumers to purchase organic and speciality foods wholesale, he said.
So Hack recently launched Direct Eats, a website that gives users access to over 25,000 speciality food items. Unlike competitors, the website offers free shipping and does not charge a fee for a membership.
The site also offers far more products than traditional supermarkets, which are limited by shelf space.
“(We offer) ten times the selection of a Whole Foods at half the price,” Hack said.
His website provides more of a local selection than Jet, a recently launched online warehouse club. Hack said he offers products from 6,000 to 7,000 individual producers.
Many local speciality food companies are featured on Direct Eats. The website offers products from Fairfield-based GourGanics, Greenwich-based Victoria Amory & Co and Norwalk-based Barefoot & Chocolate.
Hack said his website offers more than 20,000 products and hopes to offer 30,000 products before the end of the year.
The site offers plenty of choices for consumers with discerning palettes. For example, the site offers several types of different BBQ sauces ranging from Memphis to Kansas City styles.
“That is a huge win from a consumer perspective,” he said.
Customers have been embracing the website, and feedback has been “excellent,” he said.
Hack also said his business has been expanding rapidly.
“The growth has been astounding,” Hack said, adding the website has grown at a rate of 300 percent a month.
The site follows a growing trend of consumers looking to live a specific type of dietary lifestyle — vegan, paleo, gluten free. The company said the space is $110 billion market, growing 10 percent to15 percent year over year.
“This is the hottest growing space right now,” Hack said. “We are in the forefront of that.”
For more information on Direct Eats, visit its website here.
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