Thoughts from May 2007

and the winner is...

What with all of this hullaballoo about hamburgers, we've forgotten to post the winners of the birthday competition. We were given a friendly reminder today by Millie, who said "It's all kicked off a bit with the McDonalds debate hasn't it? Cor blimey - what a mess! Anyway … I'm totally indifferent to the whole debate, I'm more interested in knowing who's won the 'We are 8' competition"

So are we Millie. So we'll tell you...


We asked you to tell us the best fact you know about the number eight, with the best fact winning an assortment of eighth birthday tat goodies.

We've chosen our favourite fact and it was this:

You can chop a big lump of cheese into a maximum of 93 bits with 8 straight cuts.

Nice fact from Amy. Only problem is that Amy didn't leave a URL or email address with her comment, so Amy, if you're out there, get in touch with us at [blog at innocentdrinks co uk] and we'll send you your stuff.

win big


At Fruit Towers today we had a homemade cake stall, miles of bunting, talk of dog agility and wellie wanging, as well as some unconfirmed reports that a splinter group from the accounts team might be setting up their own morris dancing troop. Strange indeed, but all will be revealed.

We also had a very successful bring and buy sale. Everything's been snapped up apart from two classic pieces of modern literature generously donated by Jan – The Archers 1951-67 and The Archers 1968-86. He's all heart.

So, being a company that likes to give something back, we're offering these as a prize, right here on this blog.

The question - how does the theme tune to The Archers go? The best two answers this afternoon win. Good luck.


Jen - you won. Your gambit of putting words to the tune has paid off. Get in touch with us at [blog at innocentdrinks co uk], drop us your details and we'll send you the books so that your mum can have a read of them. We hope her chemo goes well.

to burger or not to burger, part II

Thanks to everyone who has posted their thoughts in the last 24 hours or so. We've benefited from reading them all, both good and bad. To be honest, it's a pretty similar debate to the one we had here at Fruit Towers over the last few months, when we were making the decision whether or not to trial our drinks in McDonalds.

And at this point, I guess we should reiterate that this is what it is - a trial, of our kids smoothies, in some McDonalds branches, in one specific region of the UK. We haven't sold our company to them (and nor are we going to), just our smoothies.

Secondly, the other thing that is not up for grabs is our approach to business, which in a nutshell is – make the best tasting drinks possible; keep them 100% healthy and natural; procure the ingredients responsibly; make environmentally-conscious packaging choices(the world's first 100% recycled PET bottle is on its way, ETA June); measure, share and reduce carbon (on track for 15% reduction this year); and give a minimum of 10% of all profits to charity to fund rural development projects in the countries where the fruit comes from. Trialling our kids smoothies in McD's doesn't change any of that. It does gives us the opportunity to sell more smoothies, which is obviously important to us. And it does give kids in McDs the opportunity to have a portion of fruit instead of a fizzy cola. We see that as a good thing, not bad.

Thirdly, I know some people are upset about us doing this. Obviously we would never want that. Our whole business is only possible because of the fantastic support from our drinkers, and I am gutted to lose and upset even a single one. We didn’t make this decision lightly. We even polled our regular drinkers a few weeks ago to ask them about it, and 72% said they would actively like us to be in McD’s, 17% said they didn’t care, and 9% said we shouldn’t be there. We simply wouldn’t have done it if the opposite had been true.

What it comes down to is this – we will never change our principles or the way we do business for anyone – McDonalds or anyone else. We will continue to try to tread lightly as a company, we will continue to keep things natural, we will continue to support rural development in impoverished countries, and we will continue to get fruit into people’s hands/mouths wherever and whenever we can. Currently more than 90% of kids in the UK fail to get their recommended daily intake of fruit. Our smoothies in McDonalds give kids the opportunity to get some more fruit on board. We think this is good for our business, and we think this is good for our drinkers. We never would have done it if we didn't think both.

Thanks for all of your comments. Please keep posting them, good or bad.


PS we aren’t owned by anyone else – we’re still an independent company, owned by the people who started innocent in 1999. And we don’t make drinks for Prêt A Manger, although we do like their sandwiches

to burger or not to burger

This week our kids smoothies are going on trial in a few branches of McDonalds in the North East. We're excited about this as it means we get more fruit in front of kids, but we also know some people may feel a bit funny about us being there, so we wanted to share our thinking. Basically, if there is one thing we like doing it's getting more fruit into people, especially kids. But, depressingly, more than 90% of kids in the UK do not get their recommended daily intake of fruit. So in our own small way we want to help change that (for example, that's why we've put our kids smoothies into schools at a discounted rate to make them more affordable). So when McDonalds asked us recently if we would like to trial our kids smoothies in some of their stores we decided to do it. It wasn't a decision we took lightly, we even held a meeting for the whole company one lunchtime to get people's thoughts on whether we should or not. And the result was we decided that making our kids smoothies available in McDonalds was the right thing to do, both for our business and for our drinkers - more kids would get the opportunity to eat more fruit. And in our world that is a very good thing. We'll keep you posted with how it goes. And we'd love to hear your thoughts.

[This conversation is continued here]