Meal delivery firm Parsley Box set to tuck into IPO amid aim to become household name

Meal delivery firm Parsley Box has unveiled plans for a stock market flotation in a bid to boost its brand-recognition and capitalise on a growing market.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 10:38 am
From left: Adrienne MacAulay, founder and head of product, with CEO Kevin Dorren. Picture: Sandy Young.

The Edinburgh-based firm – whose backers include Minecraft and gaming mogul Chris van der Kuyl – aims to make its debut on junior market Aim in late March/early April.

It expects the initial public offering to accelerate its growth plans, mainly through investment in marketing spend “with the aim of becoming a household name in a currently underserved market”.

Parsley Box delivers ready meals that don’t need to be stored in a fridge or freezer direct to the “underserved Baby Boomer+ consumer” – which it says is broadly defined as those aged 60 and over.

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The firm now delivers about 900,000 products a month to its growing 'Baby Boomer+' consumer base. Picture: Sandy Young.

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Parsley Box lands £3m to grow meal delivery service

The business was founded in 2017 by husband and wife Gordon and Adrienne MacAulay, following the couple’s discovery of limited options for delivery of ready meals for his mother.

It last year turned over £24.4 million, now delivers about 900,000 products a month, and as of January 8, had about 154,000 active customers. The number had increased by 188 per cent from December 2019 to December 2020, boosted in part by Covid restrictions.

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

He said the firm announcing its intention to debut on Aim represents an “important milestone” for Parsley Box. “Our fast growth trajectory clearly demonstrates the market opportunity from the Baby Boomer+ consumer for the convenience of our high-quality, affordable, quick and delicious ready meals delivered to their door.

"We see ourselves as a challenger brand that is redefining the category and have only just begun to satisfy the demand of this underserved demographic, with a clear strategy to continue this growth. We also believe we have a first-mover advantage through already having over 500,000 registered users.

“We are proud of our track record to date, excited about the next phase in Parsley Box’s development and the opportunity to deliver significant value for all of our shareholders.”

Ambitious

Mr Van der Kuyl is non-executive chairman of Parsley Box, having in 2019 joined the board and invested in the firm. He commented: “We’re entering an exciting new growth phase and have ambitious plans to build a brand that caters for the needs of the original rule-breaker generation; baby boomers feel decades younger than their parents did when they retired and they’re looking for convenience, freeing up time to live life to the fullest.”

The serial entrepreneur, who co-founded 4J Studios and whose other board roles include TV Squared and Puny Astronaut, also noted that Parsely Box has appointed three non-executive directors to its board – who bring a “wealth of complementary skills and experience to help guide Parsley Box in this new chapter”.

They are Chris Britton, Hazel Cameron and Ana Stewart. Mr Britton, for example, is described as having significant experience, both at board level and as an investor, in food and drink companies including Ella’s Kitchen, Graze and Findus Group.

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