Edinburgh meal delivery firm targets affluent over 60s with 'indulgent' chilled range

Parsley Box, the Edinburgh-based meal delivery firm, has launched a “premium” chilled range aimed at the over 60s as it continues to ramp up its product offering.

The group, which floated on the stock market earlier this year, said it was expanding its repertoire to further appeal to the “broad tastes of its baby boomer-plus base”.

The new chilled range, branded as the Chef’s Table by Parsley Box, consists of eight meals featuring favourite dishes such as beef lasagne and luxury fish pie.

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Bosses noted that the new larger additions to its menu have a longer shelf life – up to ten days from delivery – and can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

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

Cassandra Suddes, who has worked with the capital company as a consultant since the start of the year, is poised to take on the role of head of product. She is renowned in the food industry for her work in commercial strategy, predicting future trends, leading and delivering product innovation launch programmes with a focus on food provenance.

Suddes has previously held roles at Greencore, M&S and Tanfield Food Company. She is joined at Parsley Box by Serena Philipson who has been appointed as new product development manager.

Suddes said: “Made in the UK to the highest possible standards and using premium ingredients, this new selection is designed to be indulgent and rich in flavour.

“Creating products specifically to appeal to the underserved baby boomer-plus market has huge potential as it’s largely untapped with supermarkets focused on attracting young families. The chilled launch is just the first step on an exciting journey of discovery as we continue to research dishes that will appeal to an older palate.”

The business is led by chief executive Kevin Dorren, who previously founded investment firm Move Fresh, the holding firm for Diet Chef.

He said: “Cassandra and Serena are developing an extensive range of new products to be launched over a further two phases, breaking new ground to champion and empower the over 60s with meals to delight their taste buds.

“Just think about the other end of the age spectrum for a moment and consider how many new and innovative products are developed for families with young children. We want to invest in developing meals that surprise and excite our customers with the same care and attention to detail.”

On Monday, the firm reported a strong first half but said the easing of Covid restrictions was having some impact on its stellar rate of growth.

Releasing its first trading update since its shares began trading on London’s Alternative Investment Market in March, the group said it expected to report unaudited revenue of more than £14 million for the first half, an increase of 26 per cent over the same period in 2020 and a massive 411 per cent higher than the first half of 2019.

Active customers at the period end were at record levels as a result of the “substantial” number of new customers acquired in the first half, bosses noted, albeit new customer additions returned to a “more normalised level” compared to the “unusually high level” of new customers in the most recent period.

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