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Thoughts from author: Joe at innocent

rejoice, the sheep has a voice

A while ago we asked you to think of a caption to accompany this picture of a sheep on our next round of orange and apple juice labels.

Sheep
We had more than 750 entries. Picking a top ten was tricky. It took us ages to whittle the list down to a top twenty, and we got our knickers in such a twist trying to cement a final ten that we gave up in the end, and settled on a top eleven.

Here are the ten runners up, each of whom will receive a bunch of innocent goodies:

That’s the last time I go there for a pedicure. They’ve taken two inches more off my right hooves (Rapsmith)

You return my coat THEN we talk about you getting back your wallet (Jo Weston)

It wasn’t until halfway up the mountain that Mary realised she’d left the iron on (Elise)

No way, did you seriously forget the picnic basket? (Judit)

Nope. The song lied. No one’s coming round the mountain (Katie M)

Could you break a fiver? (Jason Slater)

The counting people isn’t making me sleepy (Janice Stott)

If that woman starts singing ‘the hills are alive’ again, I’m off (Sue A)

Call yourself a photographer, you can’t even hold the camera straight (Kat)

Hey you. Don’t walk all over my lunch (Vera Douglas)

But our winner, who will see their words printed on thousands and thousands of our juice labels, and will soon receive a hefty delivery of innocent juice is... the lovely Mel with

Cheaper car insurance, you say?

Mighty big congratulations to Mel & our ten runners up, and a huge thank you to all who entered for making it such a hard decision to make. We've not had as much fun getting our knickers in a twist since we attempted the final move from the Zoolander 'walk off'.

ever wanted to know who manages our Facebook page?

Super sarah to the rescue

Ssssshhhhh, don't tell anyone.

This is Super Sarah. She came to visit us for the day (her Dad's quite an important chap in Fruit Towers*). When she's not tapping away on her computer or barking orders down the phone at suppliers, she's telling us what she thinks of our office.

"It's not an office," she said, "it's an amusement park." And what Super Sarah says goes. So we're off to throw balls at coconuts - how else are we going to get the milk out?

* He's allowed to ride his scooter around the office

I am XXXXXX the lion

Lion chop

We've developed a bit of an obsession with this lion. Sal even printed off a picture of him and stuck it next to her desk. She says he makes her feel better about the spreadsheets she needs to fill in. She says he makes her feel better about pretty much everything, actually, and we have to agree. It's an amazing lion.

We realised we were calling it 'the amazing lion' rather a lot though. For a creature so close to our hearts (and so close to Sal's head), 'the amazing lion' felt a little impersonal.

After all, we'd gone to the trouble of establishing some of this lion's key attributes (namely an ability to cook authentic moules mariniere and play tennis to a more than reasonable standard), so why not give him a name?

We asked our Facebook followers what they thought he should be called and these are our five favourite suggestions. If you'd be so kind as to tell us which you think is best then we'll start calling the amazing lion something a little more befitting of such an incredible barnet. And probably send something nice to the person who suggested the winning name.

Carruthers Ponsonby-Smythe

Moses

Rupert Hetherington the Third

Dave

Mr Susan

- thanks to Emily, Peter, Elizabeth, Aimee & Richard for their suggestions

big (and slightly smaller change) is afoot

Sound the trumpets, hoist the flags, this is a momentous, err, moment. We're welcoming two new carton sizes to the family. We've been making our drinks in 1L cartons for more than 6 years now, and they have served us well. However, the time has come for our 1L cartons to enter retirement.

Whilst we’ll miss them, coming soon to a store near you* are our new 750ml and value 1.25L cartons.

2pac SB duo

750ml is a good size for those who've always struggled to finish our 1L cartons. 1.25L is a good size for those with many mouths to feed (or one very hungry mouth).

To our 1L cartons, we say thank you for the smoothie storing work you've done. We'll salute you as your cruise liner departs Poole for Antigua. To our 750ml & 1.25L cartons, we say a warm welcome to the family. We know you'll do us proud.

(We added this next bit as a comment below but we thought it was worth adding to the main blog too, in case anybody missed it).

In terms of pricing for our new cartons, we want to be absolutely transparent. Ultimately, it’s up to individual stores what they choose to charge for our drinks, but the RRP** for our new 750ml carton is £2.79, and for our 1.25L carton it is £3.69. This means our 750ml cartons are cheaper per pack, but cost a bit more per ml than our old 1L cartons. Our 1.25L cartons are a higher price per pack, but are the same price per ml as our 1L cartons.

Since we launched our 1L carton in 2004 we have not increased our prices. In that time lots of things have happened which mean it now costs more to make our drinks than it used to (namely, fruit prices have gone up, and we use quite a bit of fruit).

We know that some people will be disappointed by this change, but we hope you can understand that we felt that introducing two new carton sizes at two different prices was the best way to react to the fact that, put simply, fruit is more expensive these days.

* Different stores will launch on different dates from June – August, beginning with Sainsbury’s on 8th June

** recommended retail price

article in the guardian

Foundation logo

There was an article published in the Guardian today that we’re pretty disappointed with. We want to make a few things absolutely clear.

The innocent Foundation exists to fund rural development projects in some of the world’s poorest countries. Since it began in 2004 it has achieved an incredible amount, supporting 37 projects, committing almost £1.3m in funding, which in turn has allowed our charity partners to leverage a further £5.8m from other funding sources such as the EU. There are many things we’ve achieved over the years, but helping more than 340,000 people to live a better life, is probably the single thing we’re most proud of.

The Foundation is a professionally run charity that meets all the relevant legal requirements. The finances of the Foundation are managed conservatively, always maintaining sufficient funds to meet all our NGO funding commitments whilst making sure we have enough funds in reserve to mean the projects do not suffer if the business has lower or no profit years.

As we promise on our packaging, we donate 10% of our profits to charity (sometimes more than 10%). Like many businesses, the last few years have been tough but despite not making a profit in 2008 and 2009 we still donated a total of £273,000 to charity (most of which went to Age UK – a charity we’ve supported through the Big Knit).

It’s not likely we’re going to make a profit this year. We’re trying to grow our business, and we’re investing in this, but nevertheless we made a decision a few months ago to donate £250,000 to the innocent Foundation to make sure that it can continue to support new projects going forward.

The innocent Foundation is something that everyone who works for innocent is immensely proud of. We are committed to supporting the work it does and committed to running it professionally. To suggest otherwise, and infer that the Foundation is run half-heartedly or without proper care, is simply not true, or fair.