Entrepreneurs making a killing from smoothies isn’t a new thing in Britain. The fabled founders of Innocent sold their company to Coca-Cola for tens of millions after building it into a big national brand.
Two young guns hoping to emulate that success are Luke Johnstone and Alex Stewart, the creators of frozen smoothie kits company Pack’d. They only launched the company 18 months ago but it has just landed a big deal with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Costco that will lead to its products being sold in more than 650 shops.
The company’s kits each come with two portions of frozen fruits and vegetables and sachets of ‘superfoods’ like flax seed, maca, chlorella and baobab, which customers blend with juice to make a smoothie. Apparently they ‘provide essential vitamins and minerals, are high in fibre and have less than ½ the sugar of leading bottled smoothies,’ so they’re sure to be a hit with fitness freaks.
Johnstone, 26, and Stewart, 27, left jobs at the BBC and Deloitte to found the company and have since landed the financial backing of the Racing Green founder and former Space NK boss David Krantz.
'Having spent two years living in a garden shed, trying and testing different ingredients and combinations, it’s great to finally bring a nutritious new range of real smoothies to a bigger audience,' says Johnstone. 'We want to make healthy living easy, by providing an antidote to the pre-bottled drinks pretending to be healthy, also saving people the hassle of making quality homemade alternatives from scratch.'
The supermarket deal is pretty impressive given the state of the market at the moment. After accusations of supplier maltreatment and in a bid to cut costs, Tesco and co have been slimming down the number of non-own-brand products on their shelves. Landing a place in hundreds of stores is no mean feat.
Getting in with the supermarkets is a big step for any food and drink company but it's no guarantee of success. With plenty of competitors (including Innocent) and a juice bar on every street corner, Pack'd will need to work hard to stand out from the crowd.