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Thoughts from author: Anna Clare

the smoothie's new clothes

Recently, we realised we hadn't updated our kids smoothie packaging in a long time. so, we decided to give it a bit of a makeover. Basically, we made it all colourful and put some really big fruit on it. Fancy.

 

While the new look has been a hit with most little ones, a lady called Jo got in touch to say that her autistic son, Zac, was struggling to adjust to the change. This was a big problem as our drinks had been the main source of fruit & veg in his diet. 

We wanted to help Jo and Zac, so we put our heads together and created a little pop-up book to explain things to him in an interactive way (which you can see in the photo above) . Jo got back to us to say that Zac loved the book, and was happily drinking our smoothies again. Absolute music to our ears.

We've since heard from a few parents of autistic children that their little ones are also finding it hard to adjust to the drinks' new look. If you think the book is something that could help them understand things a bit better, you can print out a copy from this pdf which also includes a few instruction on how to put it together.

We hope that helps but if you do have any more problems please drop us a message at hello@innocentdrinks.co.uk or call our bananaphone on 020 7993 3311

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everybody needs good neighbours

It’s a bit of a thing in London that people don’t know their neighbours very well. In fact, only 32%* of people know their nearest neighbour’s names, and only 19%* would call them friends. 

We think that’s a big shame because research shows that strong neighbourhood networks can have a significant impact on quality of life. Knowing people in your local community reduces isolation and increases a sense of belonging, as well as more practical things like providing reliable informal childcare and security for your house when you’re on holiday. There is also evidence that knowing your neighbours is linked to lower levels of crime, and improved educational achievement and health.

We’ve been knocking about in West London since we started up in 1999 (we launched from a tiny office about 400 yards down the road from where we are now) so W10 has always been our home. It’s changed a lot over the last 18 years, so we thought it would be good to make sure we’re still connected with with our neighbours. We also wanted to change people’s perceptions around connecting with their own neighbours, and make it easier for them to strike up a chat.

So last week we sent out a little pack to all of our closest neighbours. It looked like this:

It encouraged people to drop a note to their own neighbours and pop into Fruit Towers for a smoothie (or two). We’ve already had a lovely man called Lee drop in (he dressed up for the occasion), and we hope more of our neighbours take us up on the offer.

If you’ve got any neighbourly insights to share, or want to find out more about the project, drop us an email at howdyneighbour@innocentdrinks.com and we'll be sure to help you spread the neighbourly good cheer.

*YouGov, 2013

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but how did he get home?

We've made a few TV ads in our time. Some good, some bad, some starring the fluffiest rabbits we could find. But we've never made one that cost us absolutely no money, so we were chuffed when David sent us this one for free:

 Cheers, David. We hope our smoothies were worth getting lost in the woods for.

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less waste in the world

Like most people, we don’t like to waste stuff. Whether we’re whipping up something fancy out of our Sunday roast leftovers or folding our wrapping paper instead of scrunching it, we’re big fans of never chucking things away without making the most of them.

When it comes to our drinks, we’re just as keen to make sure that any excess doesn’t go to waste. To help deliver any leftover juice and smoothies to people who really need them, we started working with a charity called FareShare when we started the business back in 1999. FareShare save good food and drink destined for waste and send it to charities and community groups who transform it into nutritious meals for vulnerable people across the UK.

We deliver our drinks to sixteen of FareShare’s Regional Centres located across the UK so that they can be distributed to vulnerable people from Bristol all the way up to Edinburgh. The extra drinks directly benefit 2,233 charities and community groups, 24% of which are serving children, 18% serving people experiencing homelessness and 7% serving older people at centres such as lunch clubs.

We’re chuffed to say that we’ve just a hit a milestone with FareShare and have now provided over a million portions of fruit to people who need it.

We’re really proud of everything we’ve achieved with FareShare, and are excited to see how many more drinks we can send their way next year. Now, excuse us while we rip the sellotape off this wrapping paper really carefully. 

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