Gousto partners with Living DNA to match ancestry discoveries with dinner recommendations


Gousto, one of the UK’s leading recipe box providers has today announced a  partnership with biotechnology company Living DNA to launch DNA Dishes, a pilot service that will match the findings of a person’s ancestry composition with a recipe from Gousto. 

The service will offer free DNA kits, worth £99, have been developed in collaboration between Gousto’s tech and recipe development teams and the genealogy scientists at Living DNA, to enable home cooks to make more meaningful connections with the meals they eat.

The partnership is the latest example of Gousto’s harnessing of data insight to provide customers with greater mealtime personalisation.

DNA Dishes takes the move towards increased personalisation to newer heights through the simple step of sending a cheek swab to Living DNA for processing. The results will then be matched with recipe inspiration from some of the regions or countries that show up in the individual’s ancestral make-up. 

Gousto was the first recipe box provider to build an intelligent recommendation engine that suggests bespoke menus tailored to the individual customer. Due to be rolled out next year, customers will be able to create more personalised meals based on their taste preferences and dietary requirements, with meal customisation.

Through gaining a deeper understanding of their heritage with  DNA Dishes, Gousto aims to inspire the nation to discover new flavours, try new recipes and be more adventurous with what they eat and cook at home.

Shaun Pearce, Gousto’s chief technology officer said: “We focus heavily on innovation to inspire discovery and adventure when it comes to home cooking, and this partnership with Living DNA is an example of that. We make our data work hard through the development of intelligent algorithms that not only allow customers to discover menus catered to their preferences but importantly, helps them create a personal connection to the food they cook.

With a strategy led by customer obsession, we invest in new ways to utilise data and evolve our proposition based on insights from our community. The future of food is so exciting and the learnings from this pilot will help accelerate our work in developing an even more personalised product for our customers.” 

DNA Dishes launches after 8 in 10 (84%) of 2,000 adults surveyed by Gousto revealed they are in the dark about their heritage, with half saying they’d feel more excited to try new dishes if they could connect them with their heritage. 

Gousto currently delivers over 5 million meals each month, and has a wide and regularly updated range of recipes, inspired by over 40 countries and regions in the world.  

New discoveries

As part of the launch, Gousto enlisted Rapper Professor Green and presenter AJ Odudu to tuck into the special-edition DNA Dishes kits and unearth delicious truths about their origins. 

Much to Professor Green’s surprise, as video footage reveals, he is not of Scottish or Scandi decent as he thought, but in fact of French (35%), Northwest Germanic (20%) and Irish (12%) descendancy. AJ Odudu celebrated her West African heritage by discovering she is of Nigerian (95%), Burkina Faso (3%) and Cameroonian (2%) descent.

Data-driven growth 

Earlier this year, Gousto announced it will at least triple capacity by 2022, in light of increased demand and the structural shift to online grocery, sparked by the lockdown.

To meet this growth, Gousto has secured a further three fulfilment centres across the country, where their recipe boxes are created and sent out for delivery and has created an additional 1,000 jobs across the business by 2022.

All new fulfilment centres will be powered by Gousto’s proprietary algorithms which maximise speed of pick, daily volumes and pick accuracy, whilst minimising cost and food waste.

As the only recipe box with an automated factory, Gousto is able to offer more meal choices than any other recipe box, globally (50+ weekly recipes, more than twice its nearest competitor).

It also boasts the most convenient delivery options (seven days a week including evenings), best value (£2.98 per serving), shortest lead time (rolling out next day delivery) while helping households eliminate food waste, by sending fresh and precise ingredients.