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August 01, 2006

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Unfortunately I think you have to be a little bit flattered.

I say unfortunately, because although copying is a very bad thing it's also inevitable. And these guys have copied you, there's no doubt about that. Some of our work has been copied and we tend to think it's because we're good or because we're doing something above average which people envy.

Being copied means you are worth copying, and that's a good thing. Sure, copying is never good but as long as they're not pretending to be innocent, and the smoothie isn't as good - then be a little bit flattered.

That said, some of the back story on the website is a bit near the mark...

They might get some obvious things looking similar, like the bottles, labels, and story. But they have none of the soul.

I wouldn't worry about it.

I think you're both right. Shouldn't really worry about it unduly. But it's a shame. The people starting the other smoothie companies must have something interesting to say. They started their companies for a reason. Their story will be as good as ours. They should tell their story, rather than nicking someone else's. It's just lazy.

I also guess that one of the points I'm trying to make is how should you react when you've worked really hard for a number of years to create something good, only to see somebody swan off with it and present it as their own? Angry? Zen-like calm? C'est la vie? Unfortunately it's probably the latter, even though we've invested time, love and some money in getting to where we are.

That's my point Dan - I don't think they really are, or can, steal any of the important stuff.

I work at Yakult and around the world lots of people have copied our bottles, communications etc (plus some people in this country are even a little bit mean about the small bottles, and how you have to hold them between your thumb and finger).

But we don't let it worry us, we have a cup of tea and a biscuit, which generally makes us feel better.

Biscuits are good.

I'm voting for annoyance, if only because they've nicked your (brilliant) concept and made it a bit pants. It's demeaning somehow.

I remember when I was about six a mate of mine copied a drawing I'd done (it was Robin Hood). And he really blatantly stole it, right down to the belt buckle. I think he changed the colour of the tunic or something. Anyway, I didn't take it as a compliment, and in my smaller moments I still don't. I tied his shoelaces round a table leg and laughed my face off when he fell over.

Maybe you could try that.

Wedgy?

i favour drawing pin on seat

I vote for annoyance too. For me the bad thing is that a hasty consumer might confuse their drinks with yours. Their bottles look so much like yours that if I was in a hurry at the supermarket I would just think it is a new line of products from innocent and I would buy it without even realising it is a different company.

Clearly a case of industrial espionage. Who is the mole?

But when you started up, I guess the US drinks companies & PJ smoothies checked you out to see if any ideas had been borrowed. Not saying they had, but real innovation is hard to come by, and harder to protect. C'est la vie..

The sneaky toerags at real simple are making a blatant attempt at impersonation, even down to the banana icon on the Contact Us section of their homepage. But they can't hold a candle to the fun of your site and your ethos. Their words look like one of those spam "phishing" emails you get from dodgy organisations purporting to be your bank, asking for confirmation of personal details so they can plunder your hardearned....."We wish you enjoy our product"......what tosh. More power to your elbows at Fruit Towers; if I lived closer I'd want to come and work with you :-(

Thanks Dave. We're glad you're rooting for us.

I do think its a real shame for you guys as you've all worked so hard.

But Innocent are so well known now that I think most people will look at the 'Real Simple' smoothies and think....

"They look really like Innocent. What a cheak!! I'm going to now go off and buy an innocent smoothie in protest."

But in all seriousness I think they have actually given themselves a problem as they have nothing original to develop. No-one wants to buy an immitation, they want the real thing.

keep up the good work. Don't stress about it.

The otherday my granny came round to sunday lunch, as she generally does. as payment for feeding her, she brings a couple bottles of innocent for us to enjoy. however on this most recent sunday, a shock befell us.. she came bearing different drinks, very similar in shape and size. as you can imagine she was severely reprimanded, and was fed only on the left overs =) however, it seemed a shame to let them go to waste. you will be pleased to know, they bear no resemblence to the content of your yummy drinks, and i hope i never get to drink them again.

We always buy innocent, not only for its taste, but for the etics behind you. (and especially at the moment for the supergran movement, as this touches our hearts)
thanks for doing what you do guys, keep it up

:0

copying is mean.

And dan. Biscuits are very good. :]

surely there must be a way of suing (cant spell im afraid.. :S) them for slander, or copyright infringment (again, have no idea if thats spelt right..)
they're BLATENT rip offs and its just down right mean.
or, another thing you could do is let a pack of 500 wild racoons into their factory, they will then most probably rip apart all of the bottles and spill nasty "real simple" smoothie all over their dirty floors. (thats the racoons doing that, not the real simple people..)
hope this helps! :P
x

The reason Innocent are so good is that you have approached the smoothie market in a completely original angle. Many other have tried to copy, Sainsburys and other supermarkets own brand smoothies included, however what they need to do is approach from yet another angle, which would be very hard, because you do what you do (smoothiemaking) so well that it is hard for anyone to even touch Innocent. However, if rival smoothies didn't approach wih an innocent-like ethical, healthy stance, then they probably wouldn't stand a chance anyway. Besides, once someone has tasted an Innocent smoothie, my research shows that there is usually no turning back anyway :)

Hi guys,

I live in Thailand and for a while now have been thinking of starting a smoothie drinks company. Anyway trying to finance the whole thing takes time and I decided to keep resaerching the market to see what competiton was like. I'm an expat from the U.K and i'm familiar with your products and the other day I was shopping with my daughter at the supermarket when I spiesd what i thought was one of your bottles.Oh well it's over I thought no chance of making a go of it here ,untill i looked closer and noticed that they have basicaslly ripped off your product. This does make me angry theres no inovation (typical for this country)t and it just makes me want to put something out there in the Thai market to give them a run for there
money we will see.

Cheers.

I hate making enemies but if I were you I wold be angry. It's clear that this company wanted to make a quick buck instead of coming up with their own ideas. There's no passion involved what so ever. No thought, no innovation, just greed. I hate things like this. It takes a lot of time and passion to come up with something like innocent and then you get clowns like this taking all of your hard efforts and making them their own. This is not flattery this is criminal.

...phew. I needed to get that off my chest.

I say its not a bad thing and I don't even think they've ripped off your packaging that much. For a start you have character designs and they have at least tried to change it using real fruit and not characters. If you think they've ripped off your idea then you should look up "do bem" a Brazilian smoothie company which has completely ripped off the Innocent smoothie design. If you look it up in Google images you'll see what I mean.

I say its not a bad thing and I don't even think they've ripped off your packaging that much. For a start you have character designs and they have at least tried to change it using real fruit and not characters. If you think they've ripped off your idea then you should look up "do bem" a Brazilian smoothie company which has completely ripped off the Innocent smoothie design. If you look it up in Google images you'll see what I mean.

They even copied what you said on your label (but changed the name!)
Here I found this:
Real Simple is the first to introduce bottled fruit smoothies to the Thai market. We call our smoothies " real simple" because our smoothies are always made from real fruit and simple process. Our idea is to make it easier for people to be healthier. We experimented with different blends of fruit to create the best recipes for our customers. Our fruit smoothies are made from crushed fruit and fruit juice. We do not add any sugar, preservative or artificial additive. Our smoothies are pasteurised to ensure that they are perfectly safe for everyone. What you get will always be 100% natural and delicious.

What a surprise I must say. My friend just told me about the thailand look-alike and here i found that it has been around for sometime. Strangely enough, i was looking to product innocent-like smoothies here in Singapore since we poor Asians don't get a chance to buy your smoothies. I'm not sure why the thai smoothie is so similar to innocent or why they decided to copy it wholesale, but if they're anything like me, then i definitely vote for feeling flattered. So anyway....any chance of me doing a franchise here? =)

Hello Larry. We don't don't currently have plans to sell drinks in Singapore, but we'll let you know if that changes. Dan

It seems that the owner/she also got an MBA degree by stealing your business idea.

http://gsmis.gs.kku.ac.th/student/student_detail/475740265

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