Edinburgh meal delivery firm Parsley Box eyes recovery after supply chain woes


The firm, whose shares began trading on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim) just over a year ago, delivers ready meals that do not need to be stored in a fridge or freezer, direct to the “underserved baby boomer-plus consumer”, broadly defined as those aged 60 and over.

Towards the end of last year, the firm warned investors that it had been hit by labor issues throughout its supply chain, severely knocking its growth plans.

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It has since been busy rebuilding stock levels, rolling out a new marketing strategy and recently completed a £6 million equity fundraising.

Edinburgh-headquartered Parsley Box Group is a rapidly growing direct-to-consumer provider of ready meals focused on the baby boomer-plus demographic. Picture: Neil Hanna Photography

Releasing results for 2021, the group’s chief executive, Kevin Dorren, said: “We have stabilized and improved the business significantly. The new management team members have settled in and with the funding now complete, we are well placed to execute our growth strategy for 2022 and beyond.

“The Parsley Box team comprises experience, commitment, inspiration, creativity, and leadership – the skillset for business growth. We are confident and excited about the future, and the team and I are determined to build on the current stronger foundations to expand and grow.”

The results showed that total revenues grew by 4 per cent last year to £25.5m. Costs incurred meant that the group suffered a loss for the year of £9.7m, wider than the £3.2m reported a year earlier.

Repeat customer revenue grew by 18 per cent to £20.7m while there was 8 per cent growth in active customer numbers “showing increasing brand awareness”.

The firm told investors: “After a challenging 2021, the £6m equity fundraising completing in March 2022 gives the board confidence that 2022 will be the beginning of a new chapter in the group’s development.

“Stock levels have continued to increase since the year end. Despite the wider macroeconomic challenges, with the complete funding, stock levels in good shape and the new marketing strategy showing early positive signs, the board remains confident about the year ahead.”

Nigel Parson, consumer analyst at FinnCap, noted: “Today’s results from Parsley Box are a tad better than expected.

“The balance sheet has been strengthened following the recent £6m placing and open offer, with the funds to be used to reboot its growth strategy by focusing on four key areas: customer acquisition and retention, developing the online proposition, launching a membership program and continuing new product development, both for the shorter and longer term.”

Dorren added: “I would like to thank our staff for their hard work during the year. I am incredibly proud of everyone at Parsley Box and how they adapted to the disruption caused by Covid-19 and for their efforts in an extraordinarily busy year having listed in March 2021.

“I would like to also thank our customers for their continued loyalty and support, our suppliers for rising to the challenges in a difficult year in the food manufacturing industry and our shareholders who have continued to support the company.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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