Mindful Chef aims to grow offer in push to £150m in sales

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mindful Chef is best-known for its online recipe box business
Mindful Chef is best-known for its online recipe box business

Related tags: frozen

Online recipe box business Mindful Chef aims to grow its product offer in categories such as frozen foods to reach £150m in sales by 2024, boosted by traditional retail and concessions.

"Mindful Chef is known for being a recipe box ​[business] and we do that pretty well,"​ said co-founder Myles Hopper, speaking at the British Frozen Food Federation's virtual business conference on 19 April.

"However, in the future, we very much want to be more relevant more often across the week and our product offering and extensions, very much the frozen range will play a big part in this."

Mindful Chef's direct-to-consumer (D2C) reach would enable it to upsell other products to its customers, he added. "We see a big umbrella brand. We created Mindful Chef with a very clear plan in mind to build credibility within the healthy eating space and to use our recipe boxes and expand out to become more of a multi-product offering. That will be through FMCG ​[fast moving consumer goods] products, personalised nutrition.

Growth through retail and concessions

"We want to grow Mindful Chef into a £150m business by 2024. In order to drive our D2C model and hit those ambitious growth targets we really need to drive awareness and we see retail and concessions as a fantastic way of doing this. Supermarkets certainly aren't going anywhere for now and while people might buy five dinners a week from Mindful Chef, they will have to purchase many of their staples from elsewhere.

"Our product extension, and most certainly our frozen range, allows us to operate in spaces where we don't think recipe kits work as well - for example, supermarkets, office blocks, gym floors. Having a Mindful Chef concession freezer one can easily purchase from to eat their meal at the office or take home quickly to make up post-gym session is a good way of onboarding people into our ecosphere and then being able to speak to them about lots of other products as well."

Frozen was growing rapidly and other businesses such as Allplants, which was delivering strong growth from its frozen plant-based range this year were demonstrating its potential, said Hopper.

"If we look at the market, there's a clear position in both recipe boxes and frozen for Mindful Chef."​ The company could compete in terms of quality, taste and health, offering 100% free range chicken and grass-fed beef in its portfolio, he said.

Existing frozen food range

Although best-known for its recipe box offer of fresh ingredients, Mindful Chef already has an existing frozen food range. "Our frozen range played a really big role in driving additional revenue throughout this period as well.

"We saw some huge basket sizes as people looked to stock up in case supermarket shelves went bare again - some customers spending more than £500 on one order.

"We realised gross numbers that would have taken several years for us to get to. We saw that happen overnight."

Predominantly D2C

Hopper said the company would always predominantly be a D2C business and COVID-19 had led to a permanent shift online for many shoppers. "The opportunity we see ahead is huge and we have a range of products that we have just started to build out, whether it be the frozen meals, smoothies, soups, broths, lunches, breakfasts, snacks."

Frozen was growing rapidly and other businesses such as Allplants, which looked set to reach close to £20m in sales from its frozen plant-based range this year were demonstrating its potential, said Hopper.

"If we look at the market, there's a clear position in both recipe boxes and frozen for Mindful Chef."​ The company could compete in terms of quality, taste and health, offering 100% free range chicken and grass-fed beef in its portfolio, he said.

Investment

Before the pandemic and before any institutional investment, the business had reached sales of £10m, said Hopper. Before Nestlé's investment in it, the company had benefited from an injection of £8m of external investment, growing annual revenue to £53m, he said. However, some of that growth had been driven by the explosion in scratch cooking fuelled by the COVID-19 crisis.

"We were extremely fortunate over the last 12 months or so. When other businesses have really struggled, Mindful Chef was really well positioned to capitalise on the impact of COVID."

In November 2020, The Borough Broth Company, which makes slow-cooked, organic bone broth, announced a partnership with Mindful Chef to launch four exclusive co-branded broths.

In the same month, Nestlé announced it had agreed to acquire a majority stake in Mindful Chef​.

Related topics: Frozen, Business Leaders

Related news

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars