Interview with Douglas Morton, Founder & CEO at Grocery Delivery StartUp: Bother

Bother is a grocery delivery startup revolutionising household management. We are an online retailer that simplifies the replenishment of household necessities – like cleaning products and store cupboard essentials – ensuring consumers never run out of the boring basics.

Unlike other grocery delivery companies which focus solely on fast delivery times, Bother isn’t just focused on getting groceries to customers quickly. It is unique in replenishing household supplies before they run out, using AI to ‘learn’ what a customer needs and when – Bother pre-empts the order and puts it in the customer’s basket so they just need to approve it. No subscriptions, no substitutions, just free next-day delivery.

Launched less than a year ago, we have an incredible team of eCommerce experts including many of the founding team and senior personnel from Just Eat, Deliveroo and Farmdrop. We have already grown 10x in six months, and are incredibly proud to announce we have just secured £4.4m of funding backed by the early investors in the likes of Uber, Revolut, Just Eat and Charlotte Tilbury.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

The service was created after identifying how outdated the grocery market is. The majority of consumers still buy household essentials from a supermarket along with their groceries because it is convenient. However, there is a growing shift in what consumers want. Increasingly, consumers want to support local retailers and producers and make more environmentally conscious choices, yet retain the convenient solution that supermarkets offer. Bother addresses each of these needs.

One of Bother’s main goals is to redress the inefficiencies that have built up over decades of traditional grocery shopping. After years of lagging innovation in the industry, there is a real need to challenge the hold that supermarkets have, observe and forecast changes in consumer behaviour, and provide a solution that offers consumers what they really want. As we continue to present our ‘Shop simple. Live smart.’ model, we hope to be at the forefront of innovation in retail, giving our customers the ability to simplify the basics, and focus on the things that matter.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

We spent seven months before the pandemic surveying consumers about what they did and did not like about the way they did their grocery shopping and developing our idea to ultimately simplify people’s lives.

When Covid struck, we had to expedite our launch and tore up our original plans in order to launch just to the NHS and key workers. We realised at the time that we were in an almost unique position to try to help, with a developed website but no existing customers to service, meaning we could try to actively direct grocery supplies to where they may have been needed the most.

Luckily, we already had strong supplier relationships and we have had incredible support from many of them (including many of the major FMCGs) who went out of their way to support what we were trying to do.

Launching a company during a global pandemic has certainly been a very steep learning curve and has brought many and varied challenges along the way (not least building a team in an entirely remote environment), but I could not be prouder of what we have achieved, the team we have built and the culture we have nurtured during these unprecedented times.

What can we hope to see from Bother in the future?

A complete reimagining of how grocery shopping should be done. For three generations, inefficiencies in cost, convenience and environmental impact have built up in one of Europe’s largest industries. We aim to redress that balance back in favour of consumers, producers and the environment.

We aim to simplify our customers’ lives, make better choices easier to make and encouraging better investment decisions from the industry as a whole. We are very young now, but we have a clear vision of what we are trying to achieve and we are excited to at least attempt to change grocery shopping across Europe for good.