Food and Content.

Have you heard of Lunch’d? It’s a super stylish healthy lunch delivery service, satisfying the hungry workers of Bournemouth and the surrounding areas. The man behind the idea? Self-confessed foodie, Oli Perron.

But what is he doing with content? He’s getting on the Mark Masters’-penned Content Revolution ™ bandwagon, and I wanted to find out more.

But first, let’s go back; this calls for a trip to the past, where it all began…

The story of Lunch’d

Oli hails from London, where he used to be a chef. He then ventured to the snow with his chef whites for some gourmet ski seasons, before returning to the capital city to sell fresh produce to city banks and top restaurants via contract caterers. He certainly had a taste for a career in the food industry.

But pounding the pavements was not for him. He was drawn to the coast, and while attending Yeovil College to study (part of Bournemouth College) he met Tom, still one of his best friends and a Lunch’d investor.

While Oli moved back to London, best friend Tom moved from Somerset to Bournemouth to work within the digital industry. He worked for a digital agency called Folk, which is where he worked when Oli continued to visit him at the weekends. Oli cursed himself having to trudge back up the M25 on a Sunday night, when his heart belonged in the seaside town.

Bournemouth bound

And so he moved to Bournemouth in 2010, with the idea of distributing fruit and veg there. He set up his company ‘Boxed Veg’. Hiring one of the rooms at Folk for Boxed Veg, he then took a side step and became an account manager for the agency.

For the next few years, he learned all things digital, including how important it is to tell brand stories.

The beginning of Lunch’d

Oli then left in 2013. He knew he wanted to work with food, but wasn’t sure how. The boss at Folk asked him to make some lunches for a client meeting. There was nowhere good to dine out nearby, so Oli catered for them with super healthy and stylish lunches. Folk told a few other creative agencies, some tweeted to their followers and within 2 or 3 months Oli was delivering lunches to 10 agencies.

Where was his HQ? His environmentally-approved penthouse flat, where he was making all lunches in a confined space. He was also doing everything himself from buying produce, to cooking, marketing, delivering and even his own accounts!

His self-marketing gained him an interview with the BBC, which led to delivering lunches to large gym chain, Fitness First. Marketing in all its forms was working!

Lows as well as highs

It’s not all been upside. He lost a big client at the end of 2014, which put pressure on profits. But he kept on trucking.

Roll forward to the present day where he now has a huge commercial kitchen in Alder Hills, allowing for the business to grow.

SO what about content?

Oli says that he has always enjoyed messing about with the medium of film, from an early age with friends to then seeing a real need for video content in business while working in the digital industry.

He knew video content was going to emerge in his business, but at the beginning, didn’t have the time or the capacity.

The importance of content

It’s important to see the individual brand story, from the person behind it (such as Jimmy from Jimmy’s Iced Coffee) to your daily life and an insight into your business day-to-day – having a genuine voice.

Oli’s first episode for Lunch’d explores trawling through his accounts, a trip to Manchester, cooking in his original kitchen, and even a business meeting with House of Fraser Department Store.

What’s the idea behind this extra content?

“I used to film video shorts from my kitchen – which foods were in season, how to prepare a healthy lunch yourself quickly and easily. I like cooking shows like ‘Nigella’, but how many people have Star Anise in their kitchen cupboards? My recipes were simple and real. It’s easy to connect with your audience, but you have to make an effort and you have to give them something slightly different to enjoy.

“If you give your audience something enjoyable to watch and share, and it’s from your real working day, then there is no better advertising for your business. Everyone likes to see behind the scenes. It’s important to be honest and transparent.”

“The food in my filming isn’t just for show, it’s the food that my customers are eating! The transparency of my videos echo the transparency of my business”

Watch the Lunch’d video diary – Episode one here. And try one of his lunches!

And for episode two – click here. Featuring yours truly!