MEET THE TEAM – GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BRAND: Andrew Parkinson
A new feature for vapedinnerlady.com, we’re giving you the chance to Meet The Team and to get to know the people who put Dinner Lady right up there as a global brand, manufacturing premium vape liquids in the UK.
MEMBER NAME & JOB TITLE: Andrew Parkinson, Head of New Product Development (NPD) and Compliance
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED FOR DINNER LADY – AND ANY PREVIOUS POSITIONS IN THE COMPANY?
I joined Dinner Lady just coming up to two years ago, initially as head of NPD and then started to also head the Compliance department a few months later.
HOW / WHY DID YOU JOIN VDL?
I love the industry and what it stands for, in helping people to find a less harmful nicotine delivery. I’ve worked in the vape industry for more than 10 years – in various roles, and even shares in a joint venture, OEM business. My last role before joining Dinner Lady, covered running production, IMT, compliance, NPD, the works. But I wanted a more a unified challenge.
When I started speaking to the team at Dinner Lady, I fell in love from the first day I walked into the building. The head office was beyond impressive, it was clear Dinner Lady was the real deal, and after several interviews I was absolutely on board and couldn’t wait to start.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE VDL PRODUCTS AND WHY?
I’ve got two favourites – from a personal vape perspective and from an NPD perspective.
My go-to vape is really specific: Apple Sours, 30:70 3mg. It's my all-day, any-day vape and my favourite flavour. And when I'm working on new flavours or formulations, it's really useful as a palate cleanser – like when a fine dining restaurant serves a sorbet, it has that effect of helping to neutralise the palate between courses.
Then the new Dinner Lady disposable Vape Pen has been an awesome NPD project for the whole company. It was a different way of approaching things as an NPD team; we did so much research, more than 400 hours in all, then moved on to the development. A lot of work went in to fine tune the Vape Pen, to define ‘excellence’ in a disposable e-cigarette – getting things just right, matching all the components to work together, then optimising our premium e-liquids for the hardware. All of that was aimed at meeting the consumer's needs and giving them the very best vape experience.
Now the Vape Pen is out there getting validation from consumers – it’s seeing excellent sales and throughput in all sectors around the world. Being a part of that whole team process, and now seeing consumers engaging with the product and that it’s working for them – that connection is what makes the Vape Pen really stand out for me.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SINCE JOINING VDL?
With Dinner Lady distributing products into more than 96 countries around the world, we have a lot of regulatory frameworks to follow, in order to support the company’s continuous growth and development.
More and more countries are introducing or adapting their vape regulations, often taking a starting point from the EU’s TPD regulations or the American PMTA framework – or creating their own hybrid. And there are also constant reviews and changes to the regulatory statements in territories with established regulations. Understanding the product within these frameworks is a huge task, and even in unregulated territories, we apply the existing regulatory standards from other markets.
I’m very proud of how Dinner Lady approaches compliance, ensuring everything we present is correct within the individual market around the world, because it’s absolutely crucial that Dinner Lady’s e-liquids and products are consistently excellent to retain our reputation as a premium vape brand.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS SINCE JOINING VDL?
For me personally, it’s being part of a real family team both in NPD and within the whole company. There’s such a strong connection between us all aiming for Dinner Lady’s success.
I’m also very proud and humbled of the NPD and Compliance teams, and their growth and development. It all reaffirms, for me, that Dinner Lady is on top, as the very best vape brand – not just for the premium vape products but for the premium members we have working here.
WHAT MAKES WORKING FOR DINNER LADY SPECIAL?
The people, the brand and the love for the brand around the world. When those three elements come together, you realise just how special the company is. Our brand presence is so strong. Obviously within the industry we’re really highly regarded, but even out and about – if I’m wearing something that’s Dinner Lady branded, I’ve had people stop me in the street and comment.
And perhaps the most important thing is that we’re providing a product that matters – a product that really helps people and that really works.
WOULD YOU RECOMMEND WORKING FOR DINNER LADY TO OTHERS – AND WHY?
All day long! It’s a very different kind of a business, but it’s energising and revitalising and it’s moving. It’s a challenge – but who doesn’t like a challenge?
If you’re a vape retailer looking to source the premium vape juice from the award-winning e-liquid brand Dinner Lady, or looking to sell Dinner Lady’s global disposable e-cigarettes wholesale, fill in the form below to find out more.