Frequently Asked Questions: UK

Not in the UK? Click here for our US FAQs.

General

Where is ZOE available?

The ZOE membership is available for early access in the UK mainland, including Scottish Highlands and NI (excluding the Channel Islands - Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man) and is expected to be on general release later in 2023.

We opted to bring the ZOE to the UK as soon as we possibly could, which means that some of the digital experience will still appear in American English and the database of foods isn't as comprehensive as we'd like yet.

Our early access members in the UK will get access to ZOE's cutting-edge at-home testing kit and the ZOE app. These first members will be asked for feedback about their experience to help ZOE get ready for general release in the UK.


You can Pre-order ZOE here to secure your kit and membership start date.

I am a ZOE COVID/Health Study Contributor. What is the relationship between ZOE membership and the COVID/Health Study?

Firstly, thank you so much for taking part in the ZOE COVID/Health Study! Thanks to you, we’ve been able to directly contribute to the fight against COVID-19 and chronic diseases in the UK and across the globe. We’re so proud of everything you’ve helped us achieve!

ZOE means life in Greek.

Founded by Jonathan, George and Tim in 2018. ZOE was designed to be something new. They bet that new technologies like machine learning and microbiome sequencing could enable scientific research at an unprecedented scale, allowing us to understand individual responses in the real world.

ZOE is a global brand that uses data-driven research to tackle global health issues and help optimise health for everyone. Through ZOE’s core research focus on the microbiome and gut health, we discovered that anyone can improve their health by understanding their unique biology.

The PREDICT 1 & 2 Studies were the largest nutritional studies of their kind, enabled by remote data-gathering through a mobile phone app. This research formed the scientific foundation of ZOE.

When the COVID pandemic hit, ZOE rapidly applied their predictive data expertise to study COVID-19 at scale. Through self-reported symptoms and test results, contributors built a picture of the pandemic playing out in real time. It enabled scientists to predict case numbers and locations, while also discovering unknown symptoms of the new disease. We’re incredibly proud of the work our team and our ZOE COVID Study contributors have been able to achieve.

The ZOE Health Study is an evolution of the ZOE COVID Study. Using the same approach, we hope to unlock the secrets of the immune system and understand how everyday behaviour can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, from cancer to dementia.

I have a medical condition. Is ZOE suitable for me?

We do not diagnose, prevent, or treat any diseases (including metabolic or inflammatory conditions). If you have any underlying health conditions you should consult your doctor before joining ZOE.

The ZOE membership is not appropriate for those with an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders.

Chronic conditions and diabetes

We do factor some conditions into our advice, including many common medications for diabetes (e.g. metformin) and heart disease (e.g. statins).

To access the blood sensor you'll also need to consent to take part in our study, which excludes chronic diseases like diabetes. Read more about our entry criteria here.

Gut issues

Unfortunately, if you have a gut disease (e.g. Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease) then you are not eligible for the ZOE membership.

If you have a sensitive gut (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome) then you may join the programme. However, you should understand that our advice is for general wellness and is not specifically formulated for your condition. Some diet changes we recommend such as increasing fibre and diversifying your plant intake have been shown to trigger adverse responses in some people with a sensitive gut. Whilst we give advice that is suitable for most people, following our advice could make your condition worse. We are actively researching how we might be able to adjust our advice specifically for people living with irritable bowel syndrome.

Is ZOE FSA eligible?

Not at this moment, but it is an idea for the future.

What does the ZOE membership include?

Our membership is the first of its kind to combine microbiome analysis, blood testing, food logging and continuous blood sugar monitoring. This provides 360° metabolic analysis that can be conducted remotely within the comfort of your own home.

Here's what's included in the ZOE membership:

Gut microbiome test

Understand your gut microbiome health. Our simple at-home poo test is patent pending with the most advanced analysis on the market. Using deep shotgun sequencing, we can identify specific 'good' and 'bad' gut bugs that are linked to 'good' and 'bad' metabolic health.

Blood sugar & fat metabolism tests

Understand your unique metabolism. Simple tests (blood test, test meal, and optional blood sugar sensor) measure your blood sugar and blood fat levels after eating food. The specially formulated test meal has changed slightly over the years but remains true to the original recipe used in the ZOE PREDICT studies.

Your responses to food

6 weeks after testing, you'll get the test results of your microbiome and metabolic health and a ZOE analysis of what it means for your health.

Members app

Get access to the ZOE app where you'll learn your unique responses to any food, recipe or meal. Use the app to track your diet, get a motivating day score, and learn how to improve. You'll also get unlimited chat support with our ZOE Coaches to help you reach your goal.

Personalised program

Learn how to eat for your biology with a personalised week-by-week plan. We’ll guide and empower you to make better decisions daily. Over the months of your membership, these changes will be conditioned into long-term habits.

Our test kits alone cost over £1000. Because of our scale, we can make substantial savings that we pass on to our customers.

We are in the process of testing new pricing and memberships so we can continue to learn how to best serve our members. The total cost of the ZOE membership will depend on which pricing plan and optional add-ons you choose to purchase.

Gut health guidance

Discover how good your microbiome is and specific foods to help you boost the good microbes you are missing.

Can I buy the tests individually, without membership?

No, ZOE tests cannot be bought without a membership. The scientific insights from our tests are powerful, but it's the ZOE membership that turns them into long-lasting habits.

The app gives you access to your personalised ZOE Scores for any food or meal, access to our team of expert nutrition coaches and daily bite-sized lessons designed to help you reach your goals.

Taking the tests alone makes achieving long-term health goals harder for our members, so we do not recommend it.

Pre-Orders

How does pre-order work?

Pre-ordering allows you to set your ZOE programme start date for the next available month. So, you can start getting excited about your ZOE journey.

Pre-order here to secure your kit.

How will I know when my ZOE kit is coming?

We will email a notification and DPD tracking number when your ZOE testing kit is shipped. DPD (our UK shipping partner) provides delivery options for rescheduling or leaving in a safe place in cases where you won’t be home.

Don’t worry if you aren’t ready to start ZOE on your delivery day. You can select a test start date within 4 weeks of delivery. Remember you will need to open the test kit box and freeze your muffins.and.

If you’d like to delay your shipping beyond your pre-order month you can get in touch with hello@joinzoe.com and we’ll put your order on hold until a more suitable time.

What should I do if I missed my invitation to purchase?

Don’t worry you no longer need an invite to purchase ZOE. You can now pre-order through our website here.

What happened to the waitlist?

Over the last few months, we’ve been working hard to offer more of you a way to join ZOE faster. Instead of joining the waitlist, you can now pre-order ZOE through our website and know exactly when you’ll be starting.

ZOE Testing

What is the nutrition information of the cookies?

Your cookies were specifically designed by scientists to enable you to test your biological responses. The purpose of the cookies is to challenge your metabolism with high doses of fat and sugar over 6 hours. 

To be able to package the necessary amounts of nutrients in the challenge in a standardized way, we used cookies. We created specific recipes to understand your biology and recommend the best foods for you. 

  • The metabolic challenge: you'll receive 2 'breakfast' cookies. Nutritional information for these can be found under 'Breakfast Test Cookies' in the table below. 

  • The average meal: you'll receive two 'lunch' cookies. Nutritional information for these can be found under 'Lunch Test Cookies' in the table below.

Ingredients

Breakfast Test Cookie 

  • White chocolate chips (cocoa butter, cane sugar, tapioca starch, rice syrup solids, rice maltodextrin, organic vanilla and salt) 

  • Flour blend (brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch, stabilizer (xanthan gum)) 

  • Palm oil 

  • Brown sugar 

  • Chickpea flour 

  • Tapioca starch 

  • Tapioca syrup 

  • Less than 2% of: water, vanilla bean extractives, salt

Lunch Test Cookie

  • Flour blend (brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch, stabilizer (xanthan gum))

  • Brown sugar

  • Chickpea flour 

  • Tapioca starch 

  • Less than 2% of: 

    • water

    • tapioca syrup

    • vanilla bean extractives

    • salt 

    • Color: FD&C Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue FCF) 

    • Raising agent: Baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate))

Allergy information

Our test cookies do not contain any of the eight major food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy).

However, they have been made in a facility that also handles tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and eggs.

We do not use organic or non-GMO ingredients but we do source supplies from reliable companies.

Nutritional information per 100g

Breakfast Test CookiesLunch Test Cookies
Energy520 kcal / 2176 kJ424 kcal / 1774 kJ
Total Fat32g17.6g
Saturated fat17.6g8g
Trans fat0g0g
Cholesterol0mg0mg
Salt / Sodium0.1g / 52mg0.7g / 360mg
Total Carbohydrate56g60.8g
Dietary Fibre1.6g3.2g
Total Sugars25g24g
Protein3.2g4.8g

Please reach out if you would like more information about these test meals.

How can I qualify for a blood sugar sensor?

To get a free blood sugar sensor with your test kit you must consent to our clinical study. The cost of the program does not include any study-related costs (including the blood sugar sensor) as ZOE covers these. To be eligible for the study you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years of age

  • You live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 16.5kg/m2

  • You are not pregnant

  • You have not had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke/transient ischemic attack or major surgery in the last two months

  • You can safely eat our test muffins (See 'What is the nutrition information of the muffins?' above for the ingredient list)

  • If you are being treated for chronic medical conditions (including type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), you have checked with your treating physician that this product is safe for you (note that to participate in the PREDICT 3 study you must not have been diagnosed with eating disorders, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes)

I’m not sure about collecting my poo. Will it need to be stored in my fridge?

The poo test is easy to collect and comes with step-by-step instructions to help you. The sample goes into a solution that preserves it, so there is no need to store it in your fridge. Phew!

How does ZOE analyse my gut microbiome?

There's a variety of next-generation sequencing approaches for studying the human microbiome. We chose shotgun metagenomics as it is the most comprehensive approach at sampling the whole DNA content of a microbiome.

This technique can detect very low abundance members of the microbial community (i.e. those found in very small numbers) that may be missed using other methods and provides information about the metabolic processes and functions present within a microbial community.

You can learn more about how we analyse your gut microbiome here.

Are your test meals suitable for vegans or vegetarians?

As of September 2023, we have reformulated our previous muffin test meal into a cookie form that is now suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 

They are also free of all major allergens and alcohol but have been made in a facility that handles tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and eggs.

The cookies are not certified gluten-free or kosher. 

If you received a test kit that contains muffins, please note that while our muffins do not contain gluten or dairy, they do contain egg. 

The muffins have been produced in a facility that also handles milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soy. 

How long after ordering my test kit can I expect it to arrive?

When you pre-order your kit for a future month, we'll ship it to you during that month. Once it's shipped, it should be with you within 3-5 days. We'll let you know via email when your order's on its way and give you a tracking number to follow it.

Can I get retested to see if my results have changed by following the ZOE program?

Yes, we're bringing gut health retests to all ZOE members in the UK over the coming months, and to ZOE members in the US in 2024.

Why start with gut health? Our data shows that, when following the ZOE program, changes to the gut microbiome occur more quickly than improvements to blood fat or blood sugar control. Retesting for all health markers will follow in the future.

How much does the ZOE gut health retest cost?

The regular price is £199. Occasionally, we might have special offers available.

How can I purchase a gut health retest?

Active ZOE members who have received their results 4 months ago are eligible to retest and discover how their microbiome has changed.

Gut health retests are currently available, exclusively by invitation.

What can I expect in my gut health retest results?

Your retest results will be delivered in the app and include:

  • ZOE Microbiome Health Score

  • Good and bad bacteria


You’ll be able to compare these with your initial test results to see how your gut health has improved by following our dietary recommendations.

We’ll also update your Gut Boosters and Surpresors based on your latest gut bacteria and provide you with updated personalised ZOE scores.

Blood Sugar Sensor

Are there any health conditions that mean I can’t join the study and get a blood sugar sensor?

Yes - there are some criteria that mean you can’t join the study and therefore will be unable to access the blood sugar sensor (also known as a continuous glucose monitor or CGM):

  • Pregnancy

  • If you’ve had a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or stroke/transient ischemic attack in the last two months

  • If you’ve had major surgery in the last two months

  • If you cannot safely eat our test muffins (See 'Are your muffins suitable for vegans or vegetarians?' above for ingredient list)

  • If you’re being treated for chronic conditions including type 1 and type 2 diabetes

  • If you’re unable to fast for four hours

  • If you have a BMI of less than 16.5

Why do I have to join a study to have the blood sugar sensor?

To get a blood sugar sensor you must consent to our clinical study. There are no additional costs to you for having to do so. After purchasing a ZOE plan, you will be directed to a page where you are prompted to complete your order and consent to our study. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 18 years of age

  • You live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • You have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 16.5kg/m2

  • You are not pregnant

  • You have not had a heart attack (myocardial infarction), stroke/transient ischemic attack or major surgery in the last two month

  • You can safely eat our test muffins (See 'Are your muffins suitable for vegans or vegetarians?' above for the ingredient list)

  • If you are being treated for chronic medical conditions (including type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), you have checked with your doctor that this product is safe for you (note that to participate in the PREDICT 3 study you must not have been diagnosed with eating disorders, type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes)

I have an old mobile phone - will it work with my blood sugar sensor?

The blood sugar sensor (also known as a continuous glucose monitor or CGM) is a blood sugar monitoring device manufactured by Abbott.

To collect data, it connects to an app on your mobile phone, LibreLink, via a form of wireless technology called near field communication, NFC. As such, it can only work with newer devices that have this function.

App compatibility

To check your device meets requirements, please download and attempt to install it as follows:

Device compatibility

iPhone

  • The sensor is only compatible with an iPhone 7 or later / iPhone SE (2nd gen)

  • Your phone will need to run iOS 13.2 or later

  • We can't support iPads

Android

  • You’ll need Android 8 or later

  • The oldest devices we support are: Galaxy Note 8, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9, S10; Google Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL; LG Nexus 5X

  • You need to be able to install apps from the Google Play Store - some recent Huawei phones cannot

Can I shower or go swimming with my blood sugar sensor?

You can shower or bathe while wearing the blood sugar sensor. However, it shouldn’t be taken below a depth of 1 metre (3ft) in water or submerged in water for more than 30 minutes as this could break or deactivate it.

That’s why we recommend that you avoid swimming or using saunas or steam rooms until you’ve finished your test.

How do I apply the sensor? Does it hurt?

The sensor comes provided with a plastic applicator. Cleaning the skin with the provided alcohol wipe, you place this firmly on the skin. With a firm ‘stamping’ motion, it gets applied. Some people may feel a slight pinching sensation, but this goes away soon after and the sensor should be painless to wear.

We recommend placing it on the back of your arm to avoid knocking the sensor and potentially dislodging it. We’ll also provide you with a latex-free sticker to cover the sensor, to keep it extra safe!

Can I exercise while wearing the sensor?

Absolutely! We actually encourage it to see how exercise affects your sugar response. If you play contact sports, plan to wear your sensor when you’re not playing a game, or position it somewhere that is unlikely to get hit.

Do I need to pay for the sensor separately?

No. ZOE covers any specific study-related costs, so you do not pay extra for the sensor.

How long do I have to wear the sensor for?

The sensor lasts for approximately two weeks. We’ll gather the crucial information - your response to the test muffins - over a few days. For the remainder of the time, you’re free to experiment with different foods to get visual real-time feedback on how your body responds to sugar. You can also explore how different interventions can minimise the detrimental impact of sugar on your body.

Will I be able to purchase a new sensor once this one stops working?

No. Sensors are only available as part of the test kit and as such are limited to one per person.

How many sensors will I receive?

You will receive one LibreLink sensor. This sensor is worn and collects data for up to two weeks. We are able to get all we need for your results from this time window.

Results & Programme

How long can I expect to wait after testing to receive results?

To get your results you will first need to complete your tests at home and return your samples in the package provided. From there it currently takes about 6 weeks for our labs to process your samples. You will then receive an email as soon as your insight reports are ready to view.

In some cases, results will take longer to process due to retesting. If you need to retest due to issues with any of your samples, we will contact you via email immediately. From the point of retesting, you can expect to receive your results within 4-6 weeks.

Can I access a sample report?

No, we don't have sample reports that we can share.

Here's what you can expect to receive:

  • A dietary inflammation profile (blood sugar & blood fat control), scored from 0-100, 'Bad' to 'Excellent'

  • An introduction to our food scores

  • Personalised food insights for your meals logged during your testing week

  • The abundance of 15 "good" and "bad" microbes from your gut health sample

How does ZOE define the 15 'good' and 15 'bad' bugs?

This is based on the microbiome research we have done in which we did an analysis of correlation of the health of the PREDICT participants and the bugs that were present in their microbiome. For the PREDICT participants, we had data on various health markers and on what bugs were present. We found the 15 top bugs associated with good health markers, and the 15 bugs associated with bad health markers.

You can learn more about this research here.

Technology

Do I need a smartphone to access ZOE?

Yes. The ZOE app is currently available on both iOS (iPhone or iPad with iOS version 13.2 or later) and Android devices (Samsung, LG, Motorola etc. with Android 8.0 or later).

You'll also need to download and use the Abbott FreeStyle LibreLink app if you've opted-in to our study and will be using the blood sugar sensor.

UK

In order to be able to opt-in to the study, your phone must be compatible with the Abbott FreeStyle LibreLink app.

Device requirements:

  • iPhone iOS 13.2 or later and an iPhone 7 or newer. / iPhone SE (2nd gen). We can't support iPads

  • Android 8.0 or later. The oldest Android devices supported are: Galaxy Note 8, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9, S10; Google Pixel, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL; LG Nexus 5X. You'll also need to check you can install apps from the Google Play Store (some recent Huawei phones cannot)

Is my data secure? What is your privacy policy?

We take data security and your privacy seriously and your information will be stored securely. Our full privacy policy can be found here.

Coaching

What can ZOE coaches help me with?

ZOE is designed for general wellness and does not diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease (including metabolic or inflammatory diseases). ZOE recommendations do not take into account allergies or intolerances, medical conditions you may have, or medications you take. Before making any changes to your diet, please consult your physician.

ZOE coaches are there to help guide you through using your ZOE results and the app in order to reach your goals. Coaches will not be able to provide any medical advice or medical nutrition therapy. If you have any medical conditions that affect what you are able to eat, or if you have a history of eating disorders or disordered eating, ZOE coaching is not the best fit. Please speak with your physician for medical advice.

What qualifications do ZOE coaches have?

All ZOE coaches have received a bachelor's degree or higher in nutrition science.

How can I access additional support from a coach?

Our nutrition coaches and customer support associates are available via the in-app chat feature.

What are the benefits of having a coach?

Your ZOE coach will help guide you through using your results and the app in order to reach your goals. Your coach will be able to help tailor your results and plan. They'll also be able to provide accountability in reaching your health goals.

When in the process does coaching start?

You can chat with the nutrition coaching and customer support teams as soon as you log in to the ZOE app. Our customer support team primarily helps during the testing phase of your program, and nutrition coaches once you receive your results. As a member, you’ll have unlimited chat messaging throughout your program.

Cancellations & Refunds

What is your returns & refund policy?

Because test kits contain medical equipment and food, it would not be safe for us to accept returns.

We also offer a 14-day money-back guarantee, starting from the date you receive your test kit.

How do I update or cancel my ZOE membership?

You can manage your membership in the ZOE app. In the menu, tap on ‘Settings’, and you’ll be able to cancel or update your subscription from the ‘Account’ section.

How can I give feedback or raise a complaint?

We're sorry to hear about any disappointment, and we're eager to sort it out. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. We want to ensure that we're aware of any issues so we can correct them, not just for you, but for others, too. We'll do our best not to make the same mistake again.

If you would like to raise a complaint, please email us anytime at complaints@joinzoe.com. Alternatively, if you wish to provide feedback, please email hello@joinzoe.com or reach out to us via the chat option on the ZOE App.

Partnerships

I would love to partner up with ZOE! Who can I contact?

Please forward any affiliate/partnership requests to partnerships@joinzoe.com and our team will get back to you.

Where can I find out more information about the Gut Shot?

Thank you for your interest! You can find out more information about the ZOE x M&S Gut Shot on our website here: https://zoe.com/gutshot

Why is ZOE partnering with such a big brand?

At ZOE our mission is to improve the health of millions, and we’re continuing to make our world-leading science accessible to more people through our partnership with M&S.

Our gut shot uses the highest quality ingredients from M&S’s trusted partners and the best-known probiotic strains for gut health. It contains baobab and berries that are harder to incorporate into our everyday diet, boosting plant diversity.

Partnering with M&S gives more people the chance to kick start their gut health journey even when on the go.

Is the Gut Shot suitable for vegans?

Unfortunately not. The gut shot contains dairy and is not suitable for those who follow a vegan diet or have a lactose intolerance.

Didn’t find an answer to your question? Get in touch

Are you an existing member needing a quick response?

Use the in-app chat to get the quickest response.

General enquiries about the ZOE Program:

Email hello@joinzoe.com We aim to respond in 5 business days.

Enquires about the ZOE Health Study:

Email healthstudy@joinzoe.com We aim to respond in 7-14 days.