Juices and smoothies’ start-up success case
Innocent Drinks Success
Richard, Adam and Tom were three college friends that in 1998, decided to stop talking about starting a business and started one. After working with fruits and smoothy recipes for a few months, the trio sold their drinks from a stall at a music festival in London. To see if people liked them or not, they placed two bins in front of the stall, one that said “YES” and the other one that said “NO”. Above the stall, there was a big sign that said, “Should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies?”. At the end of the concert, the “YES” bin was full, so the next day, the three of them quit their job and started to make smoothies full-time.
The beginning of the business launch was not easy for them since no one wanted to invest in the company. It took 11 business plans and many desperate emails until a wealthy American businessman, Maurice Pinto, offered to invest £250,000 in their company. After 15 more months of hard work, the finished product was finally ready to be marketed.
The following years were very successful, until 2003, when they decided to donate 46% of their profits of that year to charity. They after realized that it was not a smart business move, so in 2004 they launched their own registered charity: The Innocent Foundation. Up to date, the Foundation has funded over 80 projects in five continents.
“Don’t be afraid to start small”. That is the advice that the three founders give to everyone that is thinking of starting a business. And they are not kidding. They started small, and they have now more than 15 successful years behind their backs, selling over two million smoothies per week across 11 different countries in Europe.
In 2013, Coca-Cola took full control of Innocent smoothies in a deal that is making millions for the company’s founders.