“What makes me happy is food, big parts of my life revolve around it. I actually wanted to start an Italian restaurant after spending time studying in Italy. I thought an Italian restaurant offers a high turnover, it makes sense economically and it involves very good food. It was a tough choice, between operating my own business, or starting in the financial department of a big food retailer. I chose the latter to gain experience in finance & food.
“I thought it’s big enough for complexity and it’s working with food. Also, the job interviews were very different from what I had encountered before. You only have two interviews to join the talent programme, not something like nine interviews, business cases and questions like ‘how many ping pong balls fit in a boat?’
“It was very much ‘where have you grown up? How is the relationship with your parents? What do you value in life?’ That different angle really caught me and I thought, well let’s give it a shot; doing something with food, something with complex issues and something with a human angle. I stayed there for ten years and really enjoyed it.
“However, after those ten years, I also realised that I liked more energy. There were a lot of toll gates, a lot of bureaucracy.
“Along with Tom and Eric, we really believed that times are changing, especially now. How we consume and what we consume is changing. On those two crossroads, we started Crisp.
“Convenience is more important than ever. Tech facilitates convenience. It also helps facilitate contacting customer support, making a choice on what to buy and explaining how to use the products.
“Our assortment is overseeable on purpose, because we want to fix the well-known paradox of choice. We don’t believe you need six types of the same milk in your store. That’s another choice intended to facilitate convenience for the consumer.
“What we consume is changing as well. Choices on better taste, better quality, fresher products and also being more conscious of what you consume. That’s why we focus on making it easy to make a consciously better choice. That had become an important factor in our lives because it was the period in which we all had children.
“There are a lot of market insights now that show a big growth in online food. But for us, it’s not just the food - it’s about fresher, more healthy produce, being more conscious and buying local - this has all become more important during the pandemic.
“Those trends are picking up now. Market share of online food was traditionally really low. In 2017 it was maybe 1-2%, way behind fashion, travel, technology, etc. Now, because a lot more people have experienced online food, the overall numbers turning to it is bigger. So maybe the growth rate is going down, but in overall figures it’s grown so much more rapidly than it would have without COVID, and I really think that’s permanent.
“Going to a baker or a butcher is fun, going to a supermarket is not. So someone helping you in organising better quality and more sustainable food, we firmly believe that trend is only going to get bigger.