Popular food box service provider, Gousto plans to open more automated factories to help supply its meal boxes in the UK. The move to more automation intends to keep operating costs lower and offset spiralling food and supplies inflation.
Gousto also said it froze prices in 2021, and they have no plans to raise them this year, despite rising inflation as customer finances come under increased pressure.
Timo Boldt, founder and chief executive of Gusto, says “We have effectively lowered prices.” The rise in inflation is driving some consumers to rethink their spending habits. Entertainment provider, Netflix, reported a fall in subscriber numbers for the first time in a decade last week, so there is scope to worry.
However, Gousto is doing well, despite concerns that post-pandemic consumer behaviour would change. It sold more than 90 million meals to customers in 2021, up from 53 million in 2020, as more people used its services to eat at home during successive lockdowns across the UK.
Gousto’s new production facility based in Cheshire will become fully operational in 2022, with two further sites scheduled to be built. Their existing automated factories use algorithms and machine learning to shorten delivery times and help with customisable orders. Other forecasting algorithms predict supply needs. For example, Gousto claims that just 1% of food is wasted in its factories against an alleged 20% in supermarket supply chains.
Gousto as a company is currently valued at about $1.7 billion. They are still expanding after raising $100 million in 2022 from investors including funds managed by Japan’s SoftBank. Founder and Chief Executive, Boldt also communicated that the company aimed to recruit close to 1,000 new roles this year. In 2021, Gousto employed an extra 600 people, with many in tech and data roles in its London office.
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