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Apollo VCT company stories: SimplyCook

Helping people cook delicious meals at home.

Meal kits for the masses

Oli Ashness was tired of cooking the same meals. But his busy life living and working in London meant there was little time to explore new recipes. He also knew this problem was hardly unique to him. So he set out to provide a solution, and SimplyCook was born.

When it comes to cooking at home, most of us only have four or five meals in our repertoire. SimplyCook’s mission is to change that.

The company puts together meal kits, made up of recipe cards, spices and flavour pots, and posts them to customers around the country. These customers, who pay a regular subscription, get to try new recipes; without the time-consuming trial and error home cooks with less experience often go through.

SimplyCook has shaken up the meal kit subscription market. They leave out fresh ingredients, letting you pick these up on your regular shop. That means the kits are more affordable than its competitors, allowing SimplyCook to sell to a wider market.

With consumers having to stay at home for months due to lockdown, SimplyCook was able to offer an easy solution for trying new meals. Customers benefit from added flexibility too. Because the ingredients can be stored at home for long periods, customers can buy the kits and then decide later when they wish to cook.

SimplyCook has also started working with retailers Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. While its competitors compete directly with supermarkets, SimplyCook doesn’t. It sells ingredients that complement what shoppers usually buy, and can actually encourage them to buy from the supermarket by giving them interesting recipes to try.

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