Mindful Chef: Breaking Tradition at the UK’s #1 Rated Recipe Box with Co-Founder & CMO, Giles Humphries – Episode 21

Mindful Chef is a healthy food subscription revered as the UK’s top healthy recipe box, an accolade achieved through fostering innovation rather than obeying tradition…

Bringing his marketing experience from Betfair and M&C Saatchi, Co-Founder & CMO at Mindful Chef Giles Humphries joins us for a dive into adapting channel mixes to reach new audiences, creating laser-focused branding, and why you should break the ‘business by textbooks’ approach.


This episode covers

  • Advice for bringing hungry, driven talent into your business
  • Why it’s often worth valuing innovation over tradition
  • Shifting channels as your target demographic grows
  • The simplicity of messaging that’ll be a key challenge for CMOs


This month’s episode is sponsored by WeDiscover, a Paid Search Agency that combines world-class Marketers with innovative Engineers and Data Scientists to deliver incredible, measurable results for their clients. Learn more: https://www.we-discover.com/


Links & references:


Alex Marriner: 



Acquire Digital Talent: 




Giles Humphries: 



Mindful Chef: 




Episode highlights:


“We felt that there wasn’t anyone focusing truly on the healthy end of the market and to some extent the premium end of the market. We felt that if you could tailor it to be slightly healthier, you’d probably solve a problem for a lot of people.” – 7:30 – Giles Humphries


“We always felt there’s plenty of room for us all given the penetration of recipe boxes being so low at the time. But it effectively forced us to solely focus on very deliberately building a brand rather than having a 10, 20 or 50 million pound war chest to throw at marketing channels.” – 13:10 – Giles Humphries


“We had no experience in the startup world, we had a degree of experience in our different disciplines that the three of us came from, and having that complementary skill set and background massively helped us as three founders. I think that element of timing was right; you’re young and you’re hungry, and the energy was really, really important.” – 16:50 – Giles Humphries


“Our industry, particularly the grocery space that’s growing so quickly online, doesn’t respect tradition, it only respects innovation. So you have to get creative and not be afraid to be disruptive. Therefore I take elements of what I’m learning from these very talented CMOs around me, but I also keep a huge dollop of that startup magic, the creative side and the disruptive side.” – 21:35 – Giles Humphries


“Your marketing strategy needs to flex and it needs to adapt. It needs to be fairly fluid, because lots of those consumers aren’t on those digital channels. So suddenly, you’re needing to go and find them and talk to them in their environments – be that in traditional offline channels, such as direct mail, inserts or partnerships, whatever it may be.” – 27:00 – Giles Humphries


“Progress over perfection is a key mantra that you can have at any time running a startup and scale up, even when it comes to specifically talking about marketing. The times that we’ve slowed down or tripped up has been when we’re trying to achieve perfection. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” – 32:35 – Giles Humphries


“I feel that people should just take that time to find something that genuinely solves a pain point. You could be the most intelligent person on this planet, but ultimately you’ve got to have something that makes people feel passionate, and they say, ‘You know what, I really need that, that’s going to help me.’” – 41:40 – Giles Humphries


“You can trip yourself up if you’re not simplifying and focusing on distilling your message and your deployment of media spend across channels, particularly if you haven’t got an enormous team. You need to be really careful that you’re not being pulled in directions which won’t benefit the brand of the business, depending on which space you’re in.” – 45:00 – Giles Humphries