Having worked in the catering industry for over 25 years, The Parsnipship founder Ben Moss was inspired to start the business after years of being disappointed at the meagre offerings available for vegetarians and vegans when eating out, and the head-scratching bemusement amongst friends and family when called upon to cook for vegans and vegetarians.
The Parsnipship make unique and original award-winning vegetarian and vegan products from a production kitchen in Ogmore Vale, including their Great Taste award-winning Tandoori Chickpea & Lentil Mash-up. The company started out in 2007, originally selling a variety of products at Cardiff’s Riverside Market. Now their products are sold at markets, food and music festivals and through wholesale suppliers to high quality independent retail outlets, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
The Parsnipship contacted ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre for support when they needed expertise and support within their sales and marketing function to increase the number of new customers (especially from the wholesale side of the business) and to increase their sales turnover. The company also required technical support with gaining SALSA accreditation to retain existing customers and assistance with validating the reheating instructions for their products.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
Through Project HELIX’s Knowledge Transfer Programme, ZERO2FIVE recruited a part-time sales and marketing affiliate for The Parsnipship. The affiliate was quickly able to take a lead on key areas of marketing and sales for The Parsnipship, including creating a brand strategy and sales and marketing plans which ZERO2FIVE provided input and guidance on.
The Parsnipship also worked with Cardiff Met’s School of Art and Design to create design concepts for their new retail packaging. The sales and marketing affiliate subsequently worked with a designer and packaging supplier to finalise the retail packaging design; this is a first for the company and will allow them to move into traditional retail outlets.
Additional support through Project HELIX has included ZERO2FIVE facilitating market research interviews to gain feedback on The Parsnipship’s new packaging and providing the company with research and insights into vegan and vegetarian trends.
The technical team at ZERO2FIVE have also supported The Parsnipship to validate and verify on-pack reheating instructions for their products both from chilled and frozen. This is to ensure the company have best-practice reheat instructions for their consumers without compromising product quality.
Finally, through the Welsh Government’s Barriers to Accreditation 2 project, The Parsnipship were supported to gain SALSA accreditation. ZERO2FIVE’s technical team carried out a range of interventions including a Gap analysis on their factory systems and process paperwork, a mock-internal systems review and mentoring in the necessary SALSA standard areas prior to and post audit.
Benefits of the support
After the initial 12 months of support from ZERO2FIVE, The Parsnipship have seen sales turnover increase by nearly 30% with one new job created and five existing jobs safeguarded. The sales and marketing affiliate has also brought in 10 new customers into the business.
Having gained SALSA accreditation and developed retail packaging, the company is now in a much stronger position to access new markets including more traditional retail routes.
"The support we have received from ZERO2FIVE has been invaluable to The Parsnipship in terms of the progress we've made in our readiness to supply new customers - especially those in the retail market and bigger food service customers. The support has enabled us to refine and improve processes across production and sales activities within the business."
Flo Ticehurst, co-owner of The Parsnipship