Gousto, the UK-based recipe box delivery service, is kicking off a £3m brand campaign, two months after securing a £30m cash injection that brand director Anna Greene said is helping the business scale its technology and transform its offer to consumers.
The push, "Give it some Gousto", is the second ad createed by M&C Saatchi and with media agency the7stars, both of which were appointed last year.
It features a main brand TV spot, which will run for nine weeks from Sunday evening (1 September), supported by direct response TV ads and additional video created for social media, as well as partnerships with three brand ambassadors, Anna Whitehouse (Mother Pukka on social), Simon Hooper (Father of Daughters), and Joe Wicks (The Body Coach), who is also an investor in Gousto.
The campaign was created by Charli Plant and Laura Saraiva, and directed by Favourite Colour Black through Park Village.
Speaking to Campaign, Greene said that while Gousto had grown sales 70% in the last year – overtaking its chief competitor, Hello Fresh, in the process – and was now delivering 2.5 million meals a month, the first priority of the campaign was growing awareness and consideration, with three quarters of UK adults not yet aware of the brand, while "around half of the UK still don’t fully understand what a recipe box is".
While this situation means there is still work to do to educate consumers on how recipe boxes work, Greene said Gousto’s growth meant that to maximise its potential, it now needed to be able to communicate its promised emotional benefits: cutting out the pain and hassle of shopping and planning meals, and reacquainting people with the joys of cooking.
"This year we really wanted to take it up a notch," Greene said, describing the thinking behind the campaign. "We wanted to demonstrate how we can improve everything from top to bottom. We’re on a mission to be the UK’s most loved way of eating dinner."
The creative, which uses visual motifs related to cooking such as chopping with a knife to move between shots, was intended to be visually arresting, but also was "quite a disruptive and destructive device to contrast between old and new," Greene said.
The booming recipe boxes sector is packed with competitors – along with Berlin-based HelloFresh, which in 2017 topped the Financial Times ranking of Europe’s fastest-growing companies, there are several with a more targeted approach, such as the gluten and dairy-free, low carb Mindful Chef; fresh pasta specialist Pasta Evangelists; and Simply Cook, which leaves out the fresh ingredients but comes in a package that fits through a letterbox.
Gousto lacks a key identifying characteristic of this sort, but stands out because of its superior technology, Greened claimed. This had allowed it to offer 50 recipes to choose from each week, double the number offered by Hello Fresh, to bring prices down, and to offer delivery seven days a week at a wider range of timeslots.
The big challenge for Gousto, and the sector as a whole, is that most people’s usual shopping, cooking and eating habits are very well established, Greene said.
"We recognise it’s a huge behaviour change we’re trying to create here. People are so used to shopping in supermarkets or online, there’s years of entrenched behaviours." This means Gousto needs to "give them really compelling reasons and motivating them to give it a try – that’s a more powerful way to look at the sector".