Innocent Drinks first established a leading position in UK supermarkets with its range of lovingly prepared fruit smoothies. Assisted by quirky and offbeat marketing, Innocent was one of the country's fastest growing food and drink products during the first decade of the 2000s, earning a position among the UK's top 50 supermarket brands. Growth began to slow in 2007, encouraging the company to broaden its footprint. Vegetable-based ready meals were a modest success, but the company has enjoyed its most spectacular success with traditional freshly squeezed orange juice, cutting deeply into the sales of existing market leader Tropicana. Inevitably that growth attracted the attention of larger groups and in 2009, Innocent agreed to sell a minority shareholding to Coca-Cola to raise expansion capital. The soft drinks giant acquired full control in 2013, but Innocent continues to operate semi-autonomously in its own premises, separate from the main Coca-Cola organisation. Innocent finally overtook Tropicana for the first time in 2017 to become the UK's top-selling branded juice & smoothies brand. Nielsen estimated retail sales of £255m in 2018, some £40m ahead of Tropicana. The company has also launched a presence in continental Europe - mainly Germany and France - and is pushing into new sectors including functional drinks and dairy alternatives. Douglas Lamont is CEO of Innocent Drinks. Corporate entity Fresh Trading Ltd reported turnover of £370m in 2017.
Capsule checked 25th February 2019
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