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[Exclusive Interview] Jamie Spafford, co-founder of Sorted Food

A sense of joy and adventure around food and cooking became the central theme that kept the Sorted Food boys together during their university days. Now,… View Article

INTERVIEWS

[Exclusive Interview] Jamie Spafford, co-founder of Sorted Food

A sense of joy and adventure around food and cooking became the central theme that kept the Sorted Food boys together during their university days.

Now, the 4 founders have turned their passions into a successful business focused on making cooking and food fun and accessible to all.  

Introducing Jamie Spafford, Co-founder and Head of Comms and Partnerships at Sorted Food.

What is your background? 

I am one of four co-founders of Sorted Food which we started back in 2010. The four of us went to school together and have known each other for about 24 years. After school, we all ventured off to uni and took up different specialist areas. I went to Bournemouth to study Marketing.  Whenever we headed back home, we’d catchup in a pub and among all the chatting and jokes, we kept coming back to the same conversation about food. It was quite clear that none of us had left home with any cooking skills or knowledge! We’d come up with this crazy competition to see who was eating the worst thing and I think… I eventually won that one… and therefore lost.  

Ben was the one training to be a Chef and he started to share some simple tips and tricks to help us cook better and find ways to make it healthy, better tasting and cheaper. We were literally writing down recipes on the back of beer mats.  We knew we weren’t the only students struggling. We tried lots of different ways to share those recipes and cooking nuggets. Soon the conversation moved online to YouTube and social platforms.   

There’s now a community of more than 3 million people around the world joining in with that conversation with us every day. 

How does this tie into Sidekick, the app?

What we heard from the community was that getting dinner on the table on a Tuesday evening when you’ve just got home from a busy day at work, is a pain.  Our  video content and social media console is very much a mixture of entertainment and practical advice already, so the app is another way we can provide something useful.  The aim of Sidekick is to help people to reduce their food waste, to cut their food bills and still get dinner on the table really quickly and easily.  

As food prices soar, what can consumers do to save on the grocery bills?

We do (internally) joke about how if people are having to resort to watching 4 idiots on the Internet to learn what to cook, then something is quite wrong. But seriously, apart from a few people, there is a whole generation of 16–35-year-olds who have been failed by the traditional education system, when it comes to cooking.  

Take the ‘reduced’ section in a supermarket for example. You might be able to save money this way, but how do you even know what you’re looking for? Will you spot the bunch of asparagus which is cheaper and an ideal replacement for the broccoli you were going to buy? Maybe not. Most of us are just “home cooks”, we don’t think, shop of plan meals in the same way that a chef would.  Hopefully our content – and the app –  enables people to go and try things out which is fantastic, but more needs to be done.  

The overwhelming rise in the cost of living means most of us are feeling the squeeze. Everyone is looking to shop smarter and help their cash go further by buying less and doing more with it. Our app promises to save users at least 30% on their food bills. Sidekick helps you use up every fresh ingredient you buy, which saves you money and avoids waste.  


What’s unique about Sorted Food

At the moment, things are tough and really, we just want to help people as much as we can. Food brings people together; it can bring joy. We want to make sure that this is something people take away from our content. We know that the fun stuff is far more engaging to our audience than some of the apps out there that are just recipes, and quite dry. The big thing for us – which stems back to our values – is that it’s about friendship and community. We’re aiming to bring people together, to have fun. 

Do you partner with other businesses? 

When it comes to partnerships, our focus is more on how we can work together to help our community have fun, learn about food and cook better. This in turn raises awareness which is really key to us.  

We are an organically grown community of foodie friends, looking after each other at home, at play and yes, at work so yes, we do partner. We’ve worked with retailers like the Co-op and Tesco, but we also work with local councils, schools and businesses. 

What about Food education as an employee benefit?

We’ve had quite a bit of interest recently from companies looking to find ways to provide better support their employees by offering them access to the app. This is a great way of saying ‘Look after yourself, cook up some great dinners, save money and reduce your food waste’.  

 

Watch Sorted Food in action. 

 

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