The Great British Startup

A long time ago – well, 1984 to be precise – in a galaxy far, far away, a bright spark came up with the idea of shifting food ordering online. The world’s first online food shopping order was placed by Mrs Jane Snowball, of Gateshead, who ordered her groceries from Tesco, from the comfort of her own home.

This got other brands wondering how they could enjoy a piece of the online food delivery action, and digital food delivery was born. Tesco wasn’t the only brand offering to bring your dinner to your door either. Other supermarkets hopped on board, and as the idea of having your food come to you became socially acceptable, catering for once-unusual food requests became more commonplace.

One model adopted by the industry was a subscription-based model, like the one offered by Graze, Gousto and Hello Fresh. Sure, you could order your ingredients from the online supermarket, and your potatoes, pork chops and pak choi would arrive each week, ready for you to make the family’s favourites. Or, you could think outside the box, and let someone else send you the exact ingredients to make something a little different. No waste, no going through recipe books, just everything you need to whip up something more exotic than bangers and mash for dinner. Plus, you can say you made it all yourself. Your subscription would provide a different menu each week. All you need to do is choose which menu items you’d like delivered.

But it wasn’t just subscriptions where the British food technology industry was diversifying. Some fantastic niche startups, like Innocent Smoothies and Joe & Seph’s brought trendy treats to the masses. Funky branding, fun websites, and a healthy spin on an old favourite made smoothies and flavoured popcorn the snacks to be seen with.

If home cooking isn’t your cup of tea, there’s an online solution for that, too. Websites like Just Eat, Hungry House and Deliveroo link you up with your local takeaways with minimum fuss. If you’re lucky, they’ll even bring your order to your door. No engaged ring tone as you wait to call in your order, no struggling to make yourself heard over a busy restaurant; just log on to your account, check out the menus of all the local takeaways, add your order to your basket, and sit back on your sofa until dinner arrives.

Maybe food hasn’t gone entirely digital in the way music and movies have, but we’re definitely seeing a digital revolution in the way we eat. We’ve got some determined key players, keeping the British food industry at the top of its game, finding new ways to bring us something a bit different for dinner. It’s definitely an exciting time to be involved in the food industry, and at Banksford, we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of a trade which is sure to revolutionise what’s coming soon to a dinner table near you.