Owner-managed online food delivery business diversifies as COVID-19 prompts 2,000% sales increase

Love What You Eat

At the end of March, as the realities of lockdown intensified, people began to turn online to find alternative solutions to supermarket delivery challenges. One business that positioned itself as a supermarket alternative, has secured a 2,000% uplift in sales for April, while still maintaining a three-working-day dispatch process.

Love What You Eat, an online purveyor of frozen meat, seafood and pies, is an owner-managed business that selects high quality and award-winning produce, flash freezes it for freshness and delivers the products to its customers frozen. The flash freezing process helps increase the life of the product without compromising product integrity, flavour or freshness, and enables the use of portion-controlled parcels to help reduce food waste. Their products include duck loved by Heston Blumenthal, pies with Great Taste Awards and sustainably caught fish and shellfish products.

Historic highs

The business, which has been established for a number of years, has seen average daily orders triple or even quadruple its historic peaks and has also managed to increase average order values by around £20 per order thanks to diversification into new ranges. These additional offerings include a fresh fruit and veg box, with 10KG for £19.95, and will soon include wine and store cupboard items too.

Martin Darnley, Owner comments “There’s a lot of business doom and gloom out there at the moment, but the food industry has fared differently. If anything, we have flourished. What has been brilliant for Love What You Eat is our chosen method of delivery is frozen, which means compared with many retailers, we have not struggled to scale up in line with increased orders. Yes, we’ve had to hire additional staff and extend working hours, but in terms of the key challenge – supply lines – our method of flash freezing enables us to accept large deliveries from suppliers and keep it until it is needed. This means we have a much greater capacity for orders and greater flexibility compared with our fresh delivery competitors, we’ve been able to maintain a three-working-day dispatch target and we have maintained a high review average on Feefo of 4.8 out of 5.”

He continues “What’s more, it has also enabled us to secure a larger order value than most – people buy from us expecting to fill or part-fill their freezer – and we have had demand to diversify our range, to include products that customers are struggling to obtain. We’ve already added fresh veg boxes, and we’re in negotiation with suppliers to add wine and store cupboard products too. The key is we select and offer products with a long shelf-life offering us instant scalability. It’s this that has allowed us to be so agile, and which will help ensure a record-breaking year for the business, even if orders return to previous levels post-lockdown. I’m grateful to every customer who has put faith in us, every supplier who has supported us and every team member who has put in super effort and maintained exemplary standards! Thank you.”

International demand

What’s also been interesting for the company is a flurry of international purchasers for the first time ever. Although the brand only delivers to the UK Mainland, they’ve secured orders from as far as the US and New Zealand with customers desperately trying to secure quick and reliable food delivery on behalf of friends or loved ones who are self-isolating. This has meant a bit of an update to the business’s website and payment process – to accept overseas and international addresses – but has been worth the additional technological investment.

Order for delivery online: Customers can order at www.lovewhatyoueat.co.uk

Competition: Enter a competition via Facebook to win one of the vouchers to spend online.

Twitter: @LoveWhatYouEat1