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Food Circle Supermarket Enhances eCommerce Delivery with Parcelhub

Food Circle Supermarket Enhances eCommerce Delivery with Parcelhub

Over a third of all food produced globally goes to waste. While there are many provisions in place to reduce it, the UK produces the highest amount of food waste in Europe. The UK throws away around 9.5 million tonnes of food in a single year – even though 8.4 million people in the UK are in food poverty. Billions of pounds are wasted each year when food is disposed of unnecessarily.

Food waste is usually positioned as an ‘end-of-pipe’ problem, with responsibility of reduction primarily placed on consumers. However, retailers are routinely identified as being responsible for a significant proportion of food waste, often due to poor stock management, dips in demand and product faults.

Thankfully businesses such as South Yorkshire-based Food Circle Supermarket exist to capitalise on retailers’ and brands’ surplus stock in a way that benefits consumers with significant cost-savings, and minimal compromise in terms of quality; this is by securing stock from major protein, health and wellness retailers who would rather have the extra warehouse space for new stock, and selling food to price-conscious consumers.

Co-Founders Paul Simpson and James Barthorpe started the business in 2018

About South Yorkshire-based Food Circle Supermarket

Food Circle Supermarket is an online surplus food and drink e-commerce business, with a focus on the sports nutrition and healthy snacking industries. They purchase surplus food and drink, such as short-dated, old branded and excess products from some of the most well-known brands in their sector, and re-distribute them to customers across the UK, to help avoid these products potentially being wasted.

Due to the surplus nature of their products, they are able to offer a discount on the usual high street price on the vast majority of products, to help people live healthier for less whilst stopping perfectly good food from going to waste.

Founders Paul and James worked in the surplus food sector with Company Shop group, one of the largest surplus food organisations in the industry. Starting there as graduates in 2014, Paul and James became Business Development Managers, helping Company Shop to win key new accounts, before departing in 2017 to pursue their own venture in surplus food.

Extraordinary growth

In the first year of trading, the Shopify retailer turned over £35k and has expanded to a £1.7m turnover business in 2021, and now has a total team of seven people and a 6000 square foot warehouse and office in Dinnington near Sheffield, just a short distance away from Parcelhub’s South Yorkshire depot.

James Barthorpe, Co-Founder of Food Circle Supermarket added: “Our customers are everyday people across the UK who live busy lifestyles and like to keep active. Our model allows them to stock up their food cupboards with quick healthy snacks, protein bars and products such as cereals, and protein shakes at a discount off the RRP. This helps our customers to stay fuelled up with nutritional foods for the gym and other activities in their daily lives.

“Most of our customers fall in the 18-35 demographic with a fairly even female/male split.

“We are keen to expand into new markets, such as families – we aim to expand our product range enough over the next 5 years to allow people to stock up on a wider range of goods and fill up their food cupboards for less, whilst helping to tackle food waste.

“We are the only surplus food business focused in the healthy snacking/sports nutrition sector.

A diverse product range

A large proportion of Food Circle Supermarket’s range is energy/protein bars or similar on-the-go energy/protein products (such as protein cookies, brownies, flapjacks, crisps and ready to drink shakes. Their key suppliers in this area are Fulfil, Clif, Grenade, Barebells, Oatein, Battle Bites, Pro2Go, Mountain Joe’s, and UFit. Sheffield-based FCS also stock more general snacking items such as Kind bars, and products for more specialist dietary requirements such as Peakz, Loro Crisps (Vegan), KetoKeto (Keto friendly). FCS also stock products in the breakfast market, such as Fuel10K porridges and granolas.

Discovering Parcelhub

Paul Simpson, Co-Founder added: “As a new business in 2018, finding a cost-effective delivery partner was a big challenge. As we grew as a business, managing costs has been another challenge to deal with.

“As we were doing relatively small volumes back in our early days when we started working with Parcelhub in 2018, Parcelhub were the perfect partner for the short and long term, as their “pooled volume” model allowed us to access cost-effective services which were more difficult to attain directly from carriers at that stage. By the same token, Parcelhub had the capacity and infrastructure to be a long-term partner as our business grew, proving them to be an effective solution for various sizes of business.

“Parcelhub has helped us to manage costs as we’ve grown as a business, by always providing competitive rates based on our performance and volumes. They also make it simple to track shipping costs, with one invoice provided covering services from all carriers. Additional data is then provided breaking down those costs, and even more detailed information around costs & carrier service provision is provided in regular review meetings with account manager.”

“With Parcelhub we benefit from dedicated and proactive account management, multi-carrier flexibility, great customer service and seamless integration with Shopify.”

”Parcelhub was very easy to get set up with. The Sales team were very helpful in explaining how their systems worked, providing pricing quotes and a range of options, and getting our account set up promptly and IT made it easy to integrate with our website so we could start shipping.”

Hermes (now known as Evri) and Yodel are our main two carriers at present. We mostly use Hermes’ standard and next day NPOD services, and Yodel Xpress and Xpect 24hr services. Proactive customer service is very important to us so Parcelhub is a natural fit. Customer service is our number 1 priority and something we have built a solid reputation on over the last 4 years. We are proud to have a 5* Trustpilot rating and believe many of our customers feel our customer service goes above and beyond to help them if there are ever any issues.

yodel parcelhub ecommerce courier shipping integration
Parcelhub has recently introduced another new carrier option to Food Circle Supermarket; Yodel’s new Xpect Mini and Medium 2-hour delivery window services.

An evolving partnership with Parcelhub

We see Parcelhub as a long-term partner to help us keep offering our customers different delivery options at competitive prices for our customers. Our partnership has already undertaken significant evolution in 2021, with a flexible approach to the multi-carrier system allowing us to utilize courier networks based on service levels during peak times.

The logistics market is undergoing a lot of change, so the flexibility and range of options Parcelhub offers is likely to be crucial in the future.

As a general surplus food store, in the future we would like to further help people access surplus food and make it normal for people to shop surplus food.

Learn more about award-winning Food Circle Supermarket

“There are lots of ways for people to learn more about us! More information on our website, We are very active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok) providing information about our products and behind-the-scenes insights.

“We (the founders) also create and host a podcast called Business Life, where we talk about our experiences in business, and sometimes interview guests, who are usually contacts and connections we’ve made during our journey in business.

“We were winners of the 2018 Hallam Enterprise Award at Sheffield Hallam University, which opened the door for working more closely with the University and other educational institutions. Paul has been a guest speaker at Sheffield Hallam University’s ScaleUp360 events, and has recently started delivering seminars for business students at Sheffield College, and also at schools in the Sheffield area.”

storefeeder courier and shipping software integration

Sending 5000, 500 or even 10 parcels a day? Find out how Parcelhub can help you save time and money, increase delivery performance and enhance customer experience by getting in touch.

Simon Wright

As SEO and Content Marketing Manager at the Whistl Group, Simon has over 10 years' experience in both B2B and B2C marketing, and as a result, offers a unique perspective on the pre- and post-checkout delivery experiences. Simon writes regularly for both the Parcelhub and Whistl blogs and is passionate about helping retailers make delivery their competitive advantage.

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