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Meal kit business Gousto says inflation won’t derail rapid growth

·2-min read
Gousto founder Timo Boldt (Gousto)
Gousto founder Timo Boldt (Gousto)

The boss of London-based meal kit subscription business Gousto believes his business can keep growing rapidly despite the soaring inflation that is squeezing customer budgets and putting up his costs.

Timo Boldt, the founder and chief executive of Shepherd’s Bush-based Gousto, said he was confident of another year of strong growth after his business posted its ninth year of double digit growth.

Revenues at Gousto rose 67% to £315 million last year. The company made an underlying profit before exceptional costs, interest, depreciation and tax of £20 million, up 10% on 2020.

Gousto, founded in 2012, delivers subscription meal kits to people with prices starting at £24.99 for two recipes for two people. It offers 60 different recipes each week - current selections include King Prawn Arrabbiata farfalle and Chicken Tikka Nann with Indian yoghurt. It delivered 90 million meals last year.

Like all businesses, Boldt said Gousto was seeing “huge inflation” in costs, with prices for things like wheat and beef “skyrocketing”. He said the company had developed software that monitors live commodity prices and helps it manage costs by automatically selecting the best recipes to include in boxes, balancing cost with popularity.

“We are in a fortunate position in that we have a high degree of automation,” he said.

Inflation has prompted a fierce price war in the supermarket sector and forced loss-making takeaway business Just Eat to shift its strategy from growth to turning a profit.

Businesses are battling it out to win a slice of family’s food budgets as Brits face what Deutsche Bank said this week was the “one of the worst real term cuts to pay packets since the Second World War.”

Boldt said Gousto “still expect to grow by double digits” of percent this year despite the pressures.

“Obviously there’s a lot of uncertainty but if you zoom out from today to the big stuff, the trends continue to be healthy eating, sustainability,” he said. “We continue to be optimistic.”

Boldt said the company was still focused on growth and he “wouldn’t even know” if the business was profitable on a pre-tax basis.

He added: “We are one of the few cashflow positive unicorns.”

Gousto was valued at $1.7 billion in a funding round earlier this year when it raised $330 million from investors including SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and retirement and savings giant Fidelity.

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