98. Gusto Snacks

Gusto Snacks is proving that food waste doesn’t have to leave a bad taste with its sustainable fruit snack products.

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Founders: Giuseppe Baidoo and Claudio Owusu
Founded: 2019
Website: snackgusto.com 

Food waste is a major environmental concern in today’s world. According to research, UK farmers waste up to 3.1m tonnes of produce each year. At the same time, consumers are seeking healthy, sustainable snacking options in large numbers.  

Gusto Snacks is a company on a mission to kill both of these birds with one fruit stone. Its unique range of air-dried fruit crisps are all made from produce that, despite being perfectly edible, is needlessly thrown away for aesthetic reasons.

The seed of Gusto’s idea was first planted by co-founder Guiseppe Baidoo, after he went fruit picking on a farm in Kent. He was shocked by the sheer volume of fruit, vegetables and other produce that is picked, yet doesn’t end up making it to the supermarket shelves. 

With his business partner and fellow St. Mary’s Twickenham University student Claudio Owusu, Baidoo came up with a concept way to help orchard owners reduce their waste, by transforming “ugly” fruits into healthy snacks for consumers. 

Submitting the idea to a business competition, facilitated by St. Mary’s Twickenham University, the pair went on to win the night’s highest prize of £5,000, which provided much-needed sustenance to let the startup begin to shoot.

Founded in 2019, Gusto has shown that previously-discarded produce can still make its way to consumers. For every Gusto snack customers buy, approximately 30g of apples are saved from the landfill. 

Sourcing its products from alternative supply routes not only helps to reduce food waste. It also ensures that the company’s products are packed full of nutrients and flavour.

Gusto’s products are vegan, gluten-free, and have no added sugar – a welcome departure from the fruit snacks lining the shelves of some supermarkets, which are often fried in oil and include excess preservatives.

Like any business, Gusto has faced its fair share of bad apples. After developing samples in their kitchen, scale-up proved tricky, as they could not find a supplier who met their required production quantities. 

Thankfully, after broadening their search to Poland, the pair discovered a manufacturer that could produce the capacity they needed. Thanks to this partnership, Gusto Snacks has been able to enjoy the fruits of its labour and confidently launch into the mass market.

Now selling in major retailers such as Selfridges and Amazon, Gusto Snacks is a company with a bright future. The startup is targeting a growing market of consumers who are both health- and environment-conscious. 

Now a budding business, Gusto aims to have improved one million consumer diets by 2026, before having a bite at the £132 billion cherry that is the EU snack market. We’re proud to have picked it for this year’s Startups 100 Index. Welcome to the pack, Gusto Snacks!

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