Gousto looks to ‘displace horribly inefficient’ supermarkets with food delivery service

Home-delivery recipe kit service Gousto is looking to “displace supermarkets from the bottom up” as it hires its first CMO and launches a mobile app after seeing 500% growth so far this year.

The London-based company, founded in 2012 by Timo Schmidt and James Carter, uses seasonal produce and ethically-sourced ingredients to offer consumers up to four delivered and recyclable recipe boxes per week, chosen from a weekly menu.

It was created in response to the trend of people not cooking as much at home and relying on fast food and takeaways, according to newly appointed CMO Mark Newton. He adds that the brand is “growing incredibly fast”, already seeing 500% growth so far this year.

“For most people, trying to plan recipes and getting the right ingredients is labour intensive,” he said. “We wanted to make it simple and easy.”

He added that 70% of consumers say they want to cook for themselves compared to the 30% who are happy with a takeaway or prepared meal.

Given the success of takeaways and ready meal services, this suggests the likes of Gousto could be the “second wave of food delivery” according to Newton.

‘Advertising more heavily’

gousto app croppedWhile the brand has been built on direct marketing until now, the appointment of Newton, who was previously responsible for global mobile marketing at Microsoft, will see it move into advertising through more traditional channels.

“We already have a beautiful brand associated with discovery and great cooking, and the average satisfaction score is equivalent to Apple level,” Newton said.

The plan is to advertise more heavily in the future through face-to-face marketing, events and referrals as well as a push on digital.

This involves the launch of a mobile app, released yesterday (30 July), the first in the category and already higher ranked than the Ocado app in the Apple Store’s food category.

With 45% of visitors to Gousto doing so through mobile or tablet, the app is an effort to “remove the drudgery of supermarket or online grocery shopping” by allowing users to select from a changing menu of dishes and enter their details in less than a minute to have a Gousto box delivered.

‘Displacing supermarkets from the bottom up’

Grocery deliveries are going to become “explosive” despite still being a small category according to Newton.

“General grocery deliveries in the UK, even though it’s one of the most advanced markets in the world, is still rather small,” he said.

However, he said that looking at the US market seems to suggest the category will expand rapidly, with equivalent business Blue Apron valued at £2bn.

While the brand does have competitors in the UK kit delivery market, such as recipe box subscription service Hello Fresh, Newton said it sees supermarkets as the main sector it wants to challenge, adding that there is room to “displace them from the bottom up” and create “a better way to shop for food”.

“We think supermarkets are horribly inefficient ways of buying food,” he said, adding that “enormous amounts of waste” are created by both the supermarket and the consumers.

“It’s much better to cut out the middle man and allow people to figure out what they want to eat and deliver just the ingredients they need to cook it with in the moment they want to cook,” he added.