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Subscription business model opens new markets for Seasoned Pioneers

The Overview

Seasoned Pioneers Ltd manufacture a range of over 300 of authentic spices, chillies, herbs, specialist seasonings and spice blends, including many organic ranges.

The business was established by Matt Webster in 1996, and is based on The Wirral in Liverpool City Region. The business supply Booths supermarket, as well as over 200 independent retailers in the UK, and their products have been featured by high-profile food writers and presenters including Delia Smith, Nigel Slater, Rick Stein and Nigella Lawson.

Seasoned Pioneers Manufacturing Growth Fund

Matt Webster with Phil Anders worked together to secure a grant from the Manufacturing Growth Fund.

Seasoned Pioneers Manufacturing Growth Fund

Spice Pioneer subscription box

The new subscription service could help Seasoned Pioneers grow by 10%.

The Challenge

The business was an established supplier to the retail sector, but wanted to diversify and launch a new spice box product via a subscription service targeted at the end user. This new business model could see the business grow by 10% during 2017/8.

Matt said:

“The subscription service would mean we were targeting a completely new market. Reaching the end-user directly would be entirely different from reaching our existing channels. I realised that we needed to work with a sales and marketing specialist to develop a strategy to reach the end-user.’

Matt approached Phil Anders, specialist Manufacturing Advisor for the Manufacturing Growth Fund for help. The fund supports manufacturing and engineering growth projects by providing a grant for 30% of the total project value. Phil met with Matt to understand the growth ambitions and helped Matt to successfully apply for the grant.

Phil said:

“I was really impressed by Seasoned Pioneers and their desire to innovate and diversify. This is an agile business, which keeps on top of consumer trends. By bringing in a sales and marketing specialist were able to enter a new market, introduce a new product and increase sales, but I believe it will also inspire more innovation in the future.”

Together they devised a sales and marketing project and procured a digital agency to deliver the project. Matt said:

“We were keen to launch before Christmas, so it was important to move quickly and get the project underway.”

The Solution

The digital agency helped the business to launch their subscription service Spice Pioneer in December 2017. This saw them implement the sales and marketing strategy by developing a new product brand, launching a new e-Commerce website and establishing new marketing channels including social media and blogging.

Matt said:

“The Manufacturing Growth Fund has been fantastic for Seasoned Pioneers. Not only were we able to launch Spice Pioneers in time for Christmas, but we’re seeing steady customer uptake and growth.”

“This project has lit a fire for us to consider further subscription products – we’re looking at a gin and tonic garnish box, and also considering a new ‘gifting’ service for our retail partners.”

Spice Pioneer sales and marketing strategy

The Spice Pioneer subscription service launched in December 2017.

It worked for Seasoned Pioneer - it could work for you too.

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Phil Anders

Phil Anders, Manufacturing Advisor

Phil has over 20 years experience, supporting business growth for small and medium manufacturing enterprises.

Formerly delivering the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), Phil is well versed in working with manufacturers to identify growth opportunities and implementing operational improvement plans. A Six Sigma Green belt, Phil is a lean manufacturing expert with specialisms in continuous improvement, waste minimisation and quality management.

To view Phil's full profile including technical capabilities and industry experience, please click here.

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