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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.


Has Innocent become not so Innocent?

By on Wednesday, 2nd May 2007 at 4:23 pm

Yesterday Innocent announced that they were going to be running a trial of selling their drinks in McDonalds branches around the north of the UK. My initial reactions was “great! more people are going to buy Innocent, get the word out more”, however I’ve quickly realised that many people are not so happy about it.

The comments section of the entry is on fire with angry people, who feel that Innocent is selling out. “Scottie” commented “What were you thinking of – McJuice, McSmoothie or McDollar?”, and probably about 75% of the commenters are with him, feeling that Innocent have sold out. The other 25% or so are commenting on how brave Innocent are, and how its a risk, but could be for the best in the long run.

Also, its not to be forgotten that this is only a TRIAL not a fully-fledged national roll out.

For me, I think its just the next step in their national expansion. Innocent want to expand, want to get their message out and get healthy drinks to the nation. To me, Innocent in McDonalds is no different to Innocent in Tescos to me, ethically. Yes, neither company has the most perfect ethics, but Innocent is a company that wants to, and needs to improve its market share, and if selling in MaccyD’s is the way forward, then so be it as far as I’m concerned.


Innocent’s 8th Birthdy

By on Saturday, 28th April 2007 at 11:04 am

Innocent logoInnocent celebrate their 8th Birthday today, Saturday 28th April. Amazing to think how much they’ve moved on in that time, from just 3 employees to their current (almost) 200. I’ve been a drinker since late 2002, which puts me as a relatively old hat Innocent drinker, but I have to say that my favourite flavour is still one of their originals, the Mangoes and Passion Fruits one – I manage to get through about a litre a week, and have to restrain myself not to buy more due to poor monetry concerns (choosing when to buy Innocent and when to spend money on other stuff is always hard…)

They had a birthday party over at fruit towers earlier this week, which looks like great fun from the pictures they have on their marvellous blog (a true example of how blogging can be used to make your company have a better brand and all round greatness).

So all I can say really is: Well Done Innocent, and hope that you continue to grow and be as successful as you have been for the past 8 years for as long as possible!


Innocent announces “This Water”

By on Friday, 20th April 2007 at 8:19 pm

Innocent's This Water logoThose lovely people over at Innocent have announced today that their Juicy Water range will cease to exist in a few weeks, instead of deciding to create a new brand, “This Water”.

It seems like a good idea to have a seperate brand for the juicy waters and Innocent smoothies, and if its successful could possibly lay the way for more new “Innocent” brands – like their range of thickies I have always felt look a bit out of place – if they took their time they could expand them into a wider range of “innocent” brands. Just a thought, and I’m sure it won’t happen, but it could work out.

Whilst I like the brand image (well, what we can see of it), I’m not so sure that I like the name, but I’m sure in a few months it will become more natural to talk about it with friends… “oh, I’ll just nip into Waitrose and pick up some this water” doesn’t seem that natural at the moment. But then neither does a student shopping at Waitrose….


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