Franzese USA Inc. has launched a new service to help make sure its customers don’t run out of its specialty hot chocolate and gelato mix again.
The Novi-based company partnered with Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. in its Dash Button service, which lets customers reorder preselected products, such as paper towels, laundry detergent and snacks, with the press of a button. The products are delivered within days.
Franzese co-founder and CEO Paolo Franzese sees the Amazon program as a way to advance his company in technology and food distribution.
“In the company’s eyes, we think Amazon has done everything right and is owning, and will continue to own, the market merging food distribution with technology,” he said. “So we see a lot of avenues for our company to expand with those existing programs and we’re interested in speaking with Amazon to not only take advantage of their existing programs but, also to expand our exiting company with them for food distribution.”
Amazon is doubling down on the changing shopping and retail landscape with its Dash Button, offering the service for more than 300 brands including Cracker Jack, Kleenex, Bounty and Ziploc. Franzese, which has a partnership with New York City-based Nordstrom to sell hot chocolate in stores and Benton Harbor-based KitchenAid to sell gelato and pasta mixes at various retail locations, is focused on using online shopping and technology to make shopping easier for its customers, Franzese said. He expects the company’s Dash Button to boost sales by five times incrementally over the next five years.
Franzese declined to disclose its revenue, but said the company has hit its targets and is on track to hit revenue goals this year.
To help with its distribution demands, Franzese is working on an internal program to sell wholesale products through the Dash program.
The partnership-based company will also launch a new product line with former Garden Fresh COO John Latella on Dash later this year, Franzese said. He declined to comment on its details.
The Dash Button is a battery-powered device, about the size of a pack of gum, that can be purchased for $4.99. It uses Wi-Fi to connect to the Amazon App, where patrons can adjust order preferences. The button comes with an adhesive strip and clip to conveniently affix the device to a surface.
There was no cost to Franzese to join the program, but it took a year to be approved.
“Amazon has a really tight vetting program. They don’t just let anybody get one,” Franzese said. “They made sure we met requirements for a number of reviews and a certain quality of reviews. We needed to meet standards for delivering our products. Then there were a lot of questions and meetings about what we wanted to do with it.”
As part of its annual Amazon Prime Day, Amazon is offering a deal for customers who buy a new button: Buy any Dash Button for 99 cents and receive the usual $4.99 credit after placing the first order.[“Source-crainsdetroit”]