My Startup: Spoon Guru

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Spoon Guru helps people around the globe find the perfect foods for their individual dietary needs and health objectives. 

With 64% of the world’s population now actively excluding foodstuffs from their diet, Spoon Guru helps retailers such as Tesco in the UK; Albert Heijn in the Netherlands; and Woolworths in Australia and New Zealand, to cater for shoppers’ distinct and unique dietary needs.

Using a combination of AI, machine learning, and nutritional expertise, they've built a platform that determines every product or recipe‛s true suitability.

Founders: Simon O'Regan, Markus Stripf and Tim Allen

Founded: 2015


We talked to Markus about Spoon Guru's history.

Why did you start Spoon Guru?

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 at Spoon Guru - they immediately recognised the problem from their own experience and incidents in their family.

Tell us more about the tech behind the product.

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. 

Where are you at right now?

We are successfully demonstrating how new technologies like AI and machine learning can have a huge benefit to large corporations around the world keen to cater for increasingly complex consumer preferences and health requirements.  

Our mission is to help consumers discover the right food whatever their dietary preference, health objective or lifestyle choice. We already empower large supermarkets such as Tesco, Woolworths and Albert Heijn, and we're engaged in discussions with several other leading retailers around the world keen to leverage our capabilities. This year, we also launched the next phase in Spoon Guru’s mission to offer consumers friction-free food search and discovery with our Health & Wellness Suite.

The extension works alongside our flagship Product TAGs™ system - which showcases relevant products based on individual requirements and preferences - to take food personalisation to the next level by allowing shoppers to discover suitable foods and recipes for their unique requirements by analysing their propensity and purchase behaviour. 

What are your aims for the next year?

1) Going into other territories - last year we expanded into the US, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, and in 2020 and beyond we’re aiming for Asia, South America and more.

2) Expanding the team to bring even more superstar innovation into the company.

3) Building 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 persoanlised food search and discovery, and to change outcomes for shoppers wherever they may be.

What's been the hardest thing about getting Spoon Guru off the ground?

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 their advantages as well as it keeps you on your toes.

Why should more people be using Spoon Guru?

Well, our goal is to remove the hassle from food search and discovery. We want the experience to be easy, safe, accurate, relevant and friction-free. If that is you, you should be using Spoon Guru, or encourage your retailer to implement our technology.

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment? 

The Spoon Guru consumer app is completely free to use! Our business model is based on licensing our technology to food businesses and retailers around the world.

In fact, any food business can benefit from our technology but to the end consumer, the service is free.