September 30, 2019 / 11:10 PM / a month ago

Gousto to add 700 jobs in Britain over three years

FILE PHOTO - People walk down Regent Street after it was shut as part of 'Car Free Day' in London, Britain, September 22, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - British online recipe box company Gousto will add more than 700 jobs over the next three years, it said on Tuesday, underscoring growing demand for food services that send precise ingredients for recipes directly to customers’ homes.

Gousto said the jobs will be split between its headquarters in London and its distribution centre in Spalding, eastern central England. Hundreds of roles will be created in its technology team in data science, analytics and software engineering.

The firm’s recruitment drive contrasts with major job losses in Britain’s traditional retail sector over the last year, including 4,500 announced by supermarket group Tesco (TSCO.L), Britain’s biggest retailer, in August.

The value of online sales in Britain’s grocery industry is forecast to grow 44% to 16.7 billion pounds in the five years to 2024, according to market researcher IGD, partly driven by newer entrants to the space, such as Amazon (AMZN.O) and meal box operators such as Gousto, HelloFresh and Mindful Chef.

Launched in 2012 with four people, Gousto now has more than 500 employees. The hiring announcement follows a 30 million pound funding round in July, which took total funds raised to over 100 million pounds.

Gousto investors include Hargreave Hale, MMC Ventures, Unilever Ventures, Perwyn and health and cooking author Joe Wicks.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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