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Vegan and Delicious: Interview with vegan meal kit supernova, Planthood

London-based founders Will Moxham and Hilary Kennedy have long been passionate about plant-based eating, but found holding down demanding full-time jobs (Will as a business consultant and Hilary an art director) left little time to prepare the food they wanted to eat. Having noted this gap in the market for vegan meal kits that were high-quality and fast, lockdown provided the opportunity to focus on development. After months of experimentation and finessing, the seeds for Planthood were sown.

ZWG: Everyone has a different story and motivation as to why they chose a vegan diet. How did it start for you?  

Will & Hilary / Planthood: Our vegan journey started around 5 years ago while we were both living in Vancouver. The vegan scene was kicking off there and we just completely fell in love with it. We’ve always been passionate about food, but veganism opened up this whole new world of creativity and innovation that also happened to bring with it some seriously mind-blowing health and environmental benefits.

ZWG: What benefits you enjoy the most about being vegan? 

Will & Hilary / Planthood: We’re huge nature lovers, so the sustainability and ethical benefits of being vegan are our biggest motivators. But when you combine this with the incredible diversity and flavour combinations you can enjoy while eating plant-based, it just feels like a total no brainer.

ZWG: What made you realise that making delicious vegan dishes could be turned into a business? 

Will & Hilary / Planthood: We were finding that the majority of vegan options just didn’t stack up. They were either bland and boring, or vegan versions of junk food that was full of unhealthy, processed ingredients. We turned to meal boxes while working busy jobs, but found the recipes uninspiring, lacking in flavour and way too time-consuming. After spotting a gap in the market for vegan meal kits that were restaurant-quality and fast, lockdown provided the opportunity to focus on development. After months of experimentation and finessing we launched the concept with family and friends, and we’ve not looked back since.

ZWG: Ready-made food and recipe subscription services have been booming in recent years. What is unique about Planthood? 

Will & Hilary / Planthood: To start with, there aren’t many meal boxes that are 100% vegan or whose one and only focus is on making plant-based the best it can possibly be. But when we speak to our customers, it’s the quality and inventiveness of our dishes, combined with how easy they are to finish at home that are the main reasons people choose Planthood. There are a lot of misconceptions about vegan food being boring and uninspiring – we’re here to show people that’s not the case.

ZWG: What is your commitment to sustainability in your daily processes? 

Will & Hilary / Planthood: We created Planthood as a response to a broken food system, so we’ve designed the company from the ground up with the environment in mind. From sustainably sourced produce, to eliminating food waste, to donating 1% of all our sales back to the planet to help boost biodiversity and create new ecosystems. This is the stuff we get passionate and excited about and we’re constantly thinking of new ways to be more sustainable and use Planthood as a force for good.

ZWG: Your packaging is either 100% reusable, compostable or recyclable. Is it hard to achieve such packaging as a food-delivery service?

Will & Hilary / Planthood: Delivering fresh food in sustainable packaging across the UK is a huge challenge, but something we’re committed to getting right. There are some incredible sustainable packaging options out there now – the big issue is that the infrastructure in the UK just isn’t there to support it. When we first launched we were 100% compostable, but soon learned a lot of people still don’t have access to home composting. And even when you look at easily recycled materials like LDPE, only 17% of British councils can actually recycle this. These numbers just aren’t good enough and we need the UK Government to step up and intervene. Until then we’re focussing on reducing the amount of packaging we use wherever possible and then ensuring anything that we do use can be easily re-used, composted or recycled at home.

What an amazing concept! Thank you Will and Hilary for providing your answers and letting us learn about your wonderful business.

Fancy trying Planthood? Order your first meal kit now!

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