Interview with Markus Stripf, CEO and Co-Founder of Spoon Guru

How did Spoon Guru start?

We started the company because we observed the frustration, confusion, and struggle people with specific dietary requirements encounter on a daily basis. In fact, it was based on observing my wife struggling in a supermarket to understand the ingredients written on the back of a packet and trying to work out what she could or couldn’t eat. When I discussed the issue with my two friends Simon and Tim – now co-founders in Spoon Guru – they immediately recognised the problem from their own experience and incidents in their family.

Spoon Guru is now a world-leading AI-based food search and discovery solution championed by a number of heavyweight retailers including Tesco. Our mission is to help people find suitable foods for their individual specific needs, whatever the requirement may be.

 

What makes Spoon Guru different from its competitors?

Spoon Guru is different as it helps people around the globe find the perfect foods for their individual dietary needs and health objectives. Using a combination of AI and machine learning with nutritional expertise we’ve built a food search and discovery platform that determines every product or any recipe‛s true suitability for each individual shopper.

We harness the power of AI to transform food discovery and our overarching purpose is to help consumers discover the right food whatever their dietary preference, health objective, or lifestyle choice. Through the combination of AI and machine learning with nutritional expertise, we enable food retailers to deliver highly personalised experiences tailored to each consumer, based on their distinct and unique dietary, health, and wellness needs.

More recently, in the wake of COVID-19, we launched a new ‘Immunity Support TAG’ to help consumers find foods online and in stores to strengthen their immune system. As there isn’t a cure for Coronavirus yet, what we can do is give our body the best possible chance of operating at its optimum level by making better-informed choices. We know the use of our technology can help support people choosing the right foods during the current health crisis.

 

What have you learnt over the years?

From the launch of Spoon Guru in 2015 to now, there have been so many lessons we’ve taken on board. One thing is for sure is that the highs and lows are much more pronounced when you operate a startup. Cashflow management is always a challenge as any startup has to function on a

tight budget. Slower than expected sales cycles can also be difficult to navigate as well as having to condition conservative markets for change. That being said, cash challenges in a startup environment can have its advantages as well as it keeps you on your toes.

 

What are your plans for growth?

Last year we expanded into the U.S., the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand, and therefore our plan for this year and beyond is to venture into other territories – we have our sights on Asia, South America, and more. Additionally, we plan to expand the team to bring more superstar innovation into the fold and continue to build more game-changing products on top of the pioneering platform we have built to date. Overall, we will continue to push the boundaries for digital health and build tools to remove the friction from personalised food search and discovery, and to change outcomes for shoppers wherever they may be.