Giles Humphries (L) and Myles Hopper of Mindful Chef

Mindful Chef co-founders Giles Humphries and Myles Hopper (l-r)

Losses have widened at Mindful Chef as a squeeze on consumer spending and inflation dampened demand and hurt margins.

Operating losses increased by £5.1m to £7.7m as gross profit margins slipped 5.6 percentage points to 25.1%, according to newly filed accounts.

The further fall into the red came as rapid growth levelled off after Covid and revenues fell 12.3% to £58.8m in the year ended 31 December 2022, according to newly filed accounts.

However, CEO Tim Lee told The Grocer trading had rebounded in 2023, leaving the business on course for its most profitable year since launching in 2015.

“It will come as little surprise that 2022 was a challenging year for lots of F&B businesses in the UK,” he said. “We saw a challenging mix of hyper-inflation, spiralling energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis bite as consumers pulled back spending.”

But since the start of 2023, the topline decline has slowed “significantly” and the company was experiencing its strongest period of growth in terms of new customer acquisition for the past 12 months, Lee added.

It put Mindful Chef on course for its most profitable year on record, with gross margins now back above 2021 levels.

Mindful Chef – which was acquired by Nestlé in 2020 – experienced a huge jump in sales as the pandemic fuelled demand for its healthy recipe kits and ready meals.

“We naturally saw a softening off as consumer sentiment cooled,” Lee said. “However, we are delighted to report that the business is now in a really strong position, and we continue to remain optimistic and excited about the future.”