Recipe box provider Gousto has welcomed “record” sales for 2020, up 129% to £189m.
Meanwhile, underlying EBITDA was £18.2m, up from a loss of £9.1m in 2019, as Gousto achieved its first full year of profitability since launch.
According to the group, this strong growth has continued into 2021, with over 25 million meals sold in Q1 alone, the equivalent of three meals a second.
Gousto’s said its investment in technology and data has meant that it can “significantly” scale choice and personalise its offering to customers, adding it was able to capitalise on the three consumer trends driving the UK grocery market: convenience, health and sustainability.
Gousto will now reinvest the cash it generates for the long-term, to improve its customer experience and increase its share of the grocery market.
It doubled its capacity in 2020, investing in its existing fulfilment centre in Lincolnshire and adding a second automated factory in December. It now plans to double capacity again by the end of 2022, adding two further fulfilment centres in Essex and Cheshire to meet accelerating demand.
This was accompanied by significant investment into people, particularly tech resources, with its total headcount rising from 500 to 1000 in 2020, and plans to reach 2000 by 2022.
The group said its proprietary algorithms “ensure it is able to maximise speed and accuracy of pick within its automated factories, meet daily volumes, whilst minimising food waste”. This technology reportedly allowed Gousto to have 30% lower overheads since the introduction of such algorithms. This in turn has allowed Gousto to deliver value to its customers with prices of £2.98 per meal with free delivery.
Timo Boldt, founder and CEO of Gousto, said: “2020 was a transformational year, but we’re only scratching the surface of the huge opportunity ahead. 500 million evening meals are eaten each week in the UK and 76% of people cook from scratch.
“Gousto is working to unbundle the evening meal from the traditional grocery supply chain. We use software to upgrade both the supply chain and the customer experience of cooking from scratch, while riding the permanent structural shift from offline to online.”
He added: “This is just the beginning and I’m incredibly excited about the journey our amazing team is embarking on, which will see our customers benefit as we fulfil our vision to become the most loved way to eat at home.”