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Innocent no longer so Innocent?

By on Saturday, 26th May 2007 at 11:21 pm

Innocent logoAs some of you more dilligent readers may have noticed, I have a small fetish for Innocent fruit drinks. However, as I previously reported, they’ve gone through a patch of, well, pissing their customers off. This was initially due to them selling their products in McDonalds on a trial basis, which I have no problem with whatsoever.

However, on Monday Mum pointed out to me an article in the Daily Telegraph which mentions that:

The company has re-branded its Innocent Juicy Water product and launched This Water, a range of flavoured waters. The new business may be spun off if successful but for now Innocent is heavily involved.

And though six teaspoons of sugar go into every 420ml bottle, one wouldn’t know it from reading the label, where the list of ingredients reads simply, “some sugar”. Douglas Lamont, heading up the new range, insists that witholding the fact that sugar represents up to 10 per cent of each bottle is “not misleading”.

Now, I’d love to be able to know what is happening with this, but at the moment they’ve not posted anything on their blog about it, so I’m sort of fearing the worst unfortunately. I’m sure theres a reason for it (if it is true), but I’m slightly worried… They’ve said that This Water may be spun off, however I see it as being an “Innocent” brand at the moment, and so there should be “nothing but nothing but fruit”, and no added nasties. Granted, sugar is nowhere near as bad for you as some additives, but more simply, why didn’t they tell us about it?

I always thought Innocent was such a transparent company, particuarly after the MaccyD scenario, however I am starting to get a bit worried that they’re going back on promises they’ve made to their consumers. Watch this space is all I can say really.


Companies I admire #1: Howies

By on Thursday, 10th May 2007 at 5:08 pm

Howies Summer 2007 CatalogueHowies sent me their new catalogue recently, and I’ve been really impressed by them recently. Much like Innocent, they’ve been doing business both ethically and successfully for some time now, growing slowly and largely doing well via word of mouth recommendations. My mate Dan mentioned them in passing about 3 years ago, and since then I’ve got each of their catalogues which offer a bit more than pretty pictures of their clothes.

Each catalogue has a theme, with the last two chronicling the making of a new environmentally print shop where they can make their own T-Shirts, which they funded by not undertaking a foreign photo shoot. Is it just me, or is this how business should be done? Sustainably, fair, and not just for the benefit of fat cat shareholders.

It seems to me that they’re in the business to have fun, meet people and not just to make money. Nice to see for once, and coupled with Innocent, they’re both companies I really admire: not straying from their ethics (yet) or selling out.

Like Innocent, they have a humorous streak to all they do. Their blog is light hearted, and yet never far from dealing with the bigger issues in life (like how to make a decent cup of tea (in their latest catalogue) and letters to David Beckham amongst others)

Whilst their products aren’t at all cheap, they’re made well and reliably: I bought two t-shirts in their sale (organic cotton – so soft it’s unbelievable – even after being worn virtually every week for six months!) and they’re still as good as new. I haven’t yet had enough cash to get their Jeans or hoodies, but trust me I will. I’ve seen mates with them who still haven’t worn out the jeans – in the time I’ve had Gap jeans die a death on me.

Visit Howies online.


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