Kafoodle: Personalised catering
Kafoodle, the kitchen management and meal planning software company, is the brainchild of Tarryn Gorre, its co-founder and chief executive.
The Kafoodle software has been designed by nutritionists to optimise the nutritional care of patients and residents in the health and social care sector.
The tool helps create personalised meal plans based on residents and patients individual needs/preferences, monitor individual nutrient intake and ensure that each patient and resident is receiving the quality nutrition they require.
Gorre says revenue growth has doubled y-o-y, and the target pre-Covid-19 was to triple the numbers in the next fiscal year. “We are still predicting growth as our clients still want and need nutrition and allergen management solutions, but growth will, of course, be constrained by ongoing trading restrictions and budget constraints as a result of the pandemic,” she explains.
Before Kafoodle, Gorre had created a hospitality consultancy and event management businesses. “In my early twenties, I took the plunge of co-owning a pub in London on Exmouth Market,” she says.
“Kafoodle gives everyone a better understanding of the food that they create and consume, at the touch of a button”Tarryn Gorre
For Gorre, having run a food business led her to appreciate the importance of menu development and food information. “Even back then, when we were juggling with Excel Spreadsheets, I would always think that there must be an easier way to manage recipes, menus and customer communication to improve workflows.”
With Kafoodle, she says, the aim has always been to create an easy to use, affordable solution that would seamlessly connect the kitchen to the customer with the food on their plate. “Kafoodle gives everyone a better understanding of the food that they create and consume, at the touch of a button,” enthuses Gorre.
Gorre recognises that she didn’t know a great deal about personalised nutrition at the time of launching Kafoodle. “The initial focus was very much around allergens until we launched. The nutrition side of things started to develop after,” she explains.
Gorre notes the terminology around personalised nutrition is very broad. “Some people relate it to gut microbiome while others will think about the exact amount of carbohydrates they need per day.
“I think what makes us different in the personalised space is that we understand the kitchen and commercial side while also being able to see it from the customers perspective.”
For Gorre, Kafoodle can help clients better understand and meet the wide-ranging and changing nutritional needs of different customers in care homes, primary schools, and restaurant diners without increasing the complexity or cost of their operations.
As a data-driven software, Kafoodle’s chief executive holds a wealth of information in terms of consumer trends across the customer base.
“We have found that consumer food trends are similar across sectors such as education, healthcare and casual dining,” she says.
Some habits such as ‘fish Fridays’ are ingrained while others are rising, such as ‘meat-free Mondays’, for example. “Interestingly, we also see that people tend to make healthier choices in the early part of the week, as opposed to the end of the week or weekend,” comments Gorre.
Kafoodle has recently worked with a school on traffic light labelling of food and it was the first time for Gorre to see pupils make the conscious choice of a healthier meal when provided with the nutritional information.
“We found that a pot of cucumber only becomes a viable option when sliced in order to make it competitive with other less healthy snacks such as crisps”Tarryn Gorre
Gorre notes, however, that convenience of food is still a major factor in people’s eating habits. “We found that a pot of cucumber only becomes a viable option when sliced in order to make it competitive with other less healthy snacks such as crisps. This demonstrates the impact of a minor change on human behaviour,” she explains.
In 2015 Kafoodle received early-stage funding from an angel investor, and seed capital in 2018. Earlier this year the company welcomed its first VC investors.
“Our early investors were angel investor Bil Bungay as well as a corporate investor JLR Star. Our most recent fund round, which was just a few months ago, saw Nexus Investments and Triple Point Capital join the others in investing in Kafoodle,” explains Gorre.
Kafoodle is on track to further expand the platform to create more value for clients. One of the projects in development will see the company use machine learning on recipes, nutrition, allergens and specific dietary requirements. Gorre says this will help create tailored meal plans that meet the needs of specific groups of the population simpler, quicker and more accurate.
“Our next major milestone will be to reach 1,000 licences, which we should reach later this year. Achieving this will be a big step for us at Kafoodle,” Gorre concludes.
This handful of brands embracing personalised nutrition are only a sample of what’s available in the market but shows awareness of the concept across relevant players in the food and investment space.
Abrahams emphasises that more research needs to be done to fully understand the science powering personalised nutrition, and provide evidence of how it works on a diverse population.
“There’s a big misunderstanding of what personalised nutrition is and how it applies to different sectors and different people. It’s not just one way, not just the food company, it’s wider than that. A lot of education needs to be done, and a lot of misinformation that needs to be rectified,” concludes Abrahams.
Date published: 18 June 2020