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May 01, 2007


I find it quite disappointing that you've teamed up with McDonalds as they are a company with a terrible reputation for exploitation, deceit and misery on a global scale. Whilst I can see the small benefit of trying to introduce a healthier element to their (Un)Happy Meals, I think it tarnishes the image of Innocent Drinks to be associated with McDonalds.

How sad. Whilst there may always be short term commercial imperatives, you're always judged by what you do, rather than what you say.

So whilst it may be lovely, fluffy and nice that you had a company meeting, partnering up with McDonalds will reduce the value of your brand, and ultimately long term sales.

Perhaps this was one decision that shouldn't have been made by committee.

An interesting development sure to promote great debate.

However as anyone who has ever brough a kid to McDonald's for a happy meal as a treat, rather than it being a daily/regular occurrence will tell you, the joy and the sense of "wow" on their faces is a treat.

So if they can have something yummier and tastier and even better for them than a soft drink, then that's brilliant, and something your brand should be proud of providing.

Just don't go officially recommending their burgers as part of a healthy diet, eh?

Best of luck with it :)

What were you thinking of - McJuice, McSmoothie or McDollar?

Good luck - it's a brave move. McD's may well have a terrible reputation but at least they're doing something to try and put it right. Let's be honest, the entire food industry generally doesn't have a good reputation but that's no reason not to try and change it.

My gut reaction is that this is a pretty bad idea. I understand that you want to give kids at McDonalds a healthier option, and it's bringing the product to people who may not be able to afford it as a regular purchase, but I think the association with McDonalds will tarnish the brand. It's not so much about the product remaining exclusive, it's more about ensuring that your values are shared and reflected by your partners. Are you really sure about this?

I was quite surprised to read about this new development, and although I understand the positive aspects of joining the Mac team-I find your decision highly contradicting. If you are all about protecting the environment and helping third world communities develop- then please do a little research on what McDonald has done to the Amazon, and to the tribes that used to live there- and you might be interested in knowing that they don’t treat their cows with as much respect and care as you do. I will stay a faithful consumer of your brand though, as a Latina living in the UK, your fresh juices are a constant reminder of home :)

Terrible idea, I think. Innocent was a brand people trusted. Innocent and McDonald's don't go together in the same sentence. It really will have a massively negative impact on your brand - and let's face it, nobody will believe it's about anything but money, nobody will buy that it's about giving McDonalds kids a healthier drink in their boxes of lard.

I think this rather destroys the seemingly wonderful ideas the company holds as regards environmental & worker related ethics. How can you claim to support the Rainforest Alliance, for example, & then partner up with a company that has major associations with rainforest clearance & that is responsible for giant carbon emissions? Wasn't it here that I read that your average cheeseburger has a crazy high carbon footprint...?

I'm going to disagree with a lot of the previous commenters here.

I can understand why the previous commenters don't like McDonalds; I don't like them either and have only been through the golden arches twice in the past ten years. However, as far as I understand it, this move does not mean that Ronald McDonald has taken over Innocent or the process of making the smoothies. Unless I got the wrong end of the stick, the innocent smoothies in McDonald's will still be made with Rainforest Alliance certified bananas and the usual innocent approach. Surely this doesn't mean the McDonalisation (is that a word?) of innocent but perhaps an - ever so slightly - more innocent McDonalds. It isn't going to get me to go into McDonalds, but as long as McDonalds don't start changing your recipe (say by adding non-fruit stuff) or forcing you to recommend their food, I think it could be a good thing.

I hope this move makes the world a little better.

I think I'm with Stuart on this one. I fully understand the other posters' views and largely agree with the comments about McDonalds, however... Innocent is still Innocent - healthy drinks from an environmentally and socially responsible company. If this partnership leads to less children drinking rubbish, then great!

McDonalds do of course have a horrible reputation for their exploitative business practices, however so do Tesco and many other supermarkets, yet I do not hear anyone saying that Innocent should not be sold in Tesco.

I think this is a very difficult one. I'm a mum, and the way I see it, will McDs having Innocent make children eat more burgers, I don't think so. Will Innocent being in McDs give them the opportunity to get some fruit, absolutely.

Surely its better to be working with these companies to make them better, than washing your hands of them.

I seem to remember Greenpeace actually worked in partnership with McDonalds recently over something in the rainforests.

For some children this could be the only fruit they get, so surely it must be positive?

Brave. Very brave indeed.

I like brave and tend to agree with the last three posters.

You'll glad to know that last week my high school started selling the kid's smoothies for 75p! I saw the poster and was so thankful it had gotten to the school! I got one today, and me any my mate read the packaging for quite a while at lunch, marveling at the idea of a blueberry pancake. But where's the banana phone number?

I think the parents who have posted suggesting Innocents struggle with this was a well meaning one are missing the point.
Whilst no-one would argue that your suggestion that more fruit in kids is a good thing there is a wider, and more important, issue at stake and that is one of complicit acceptance of McDonalds practices.
By association Innocent now have accepted McDonalds business decisions as ok and McDonalds have raised their 'green and lovely' image in one fell swoop.

Apparently theres in type of marketing , the name of which escapes me, that uses the green logos and nature vistas etc to fool the public into thinking of company a different way. It has a Marketing ethos all its own, for example how BP use a green flower as their logo. It changes peoples perceptions.
Innocent are helping McDonalds do this.

Theres also another way to look at it from a more parochial or domestic stand point.
Would a tie up with Sunny Delight a few years ago been acceptable to the parents? Would there not be confusion as to what was ok and what was not?
But there definately would have been a clamour by kids for an "Innocent Delight" and that would have meant more fruit in kids wouldnt it? Or would it have just meant only 'some' more fruit in kids and a relentless march onwards of the awful Sunny Delight?

Everyone stop moaning!!!! people are going to take there kids to mcdonalds whatever innocent do yes!
and Innocent being there wont increase burger sales NO!
So why are we having a hissy fit cos innocent are doing good by having cool healthy and yummy drinks on sale there!!!
rant over Im not a Mcdonalds fan but then why do we all like starbucks if we are all so anti commercialism

I think it's a realy good idea - so much better than those horrid thick yukky milk shakes. I don't see it as supporting McDonalds' ethics, I see it as helping the children who eat there to be a bit healthier.

There are two issues here. Is it further commercialisation of innocent's brand that is the issue, or is it the connection with this specific burger company? My feelings, for what they're worth, is that providing innocent's ethos remains clean'n'green, further exposure of the brand isn't necessarily a bad idea. However, I share the concerns above regarding the tacit acceptence of McDonald's business practises. On balance, I think it's a bad decision: it does nothing to raise my opinion of McD's food or production standards, and does a little bit to lower my opinion of innocent. And yes, parents who take their kids daily to McD's (grrrr!) may buy the smoothies, but I can't help thinking that most unaccompanied teenagers will still opt for the caffeine-and-sugar-laden McCoke...

It's just more greenwash publicity for McDonalds. They get loads of good press while continuing to sell junk food and without changing any of their environmental or working policies, whereas Innocent can only damage it's image.

It's not the same as being sold in Tesco. Supermarkets have 1000's of products (including multiple smoothie brands), whereas your profile at McD is going to be much higher, and since it's such a high profile chain it will be seen as a tie-up (unlike eg. if the local chippy wants to sell your drinks).

Will it improving people's health? Could go either way. It might encourage people to get more fruit along with their burgers. Or it might make people eat more junk food, since they can offset their guilt with a smoothie.

We had a chat about it in our office and although most of us thought you WOULD get more kids eating fruit. We thought it wasn't the best way to go about, we felt in devalued innocent and how we felt about what you do.

But you'll understand that we understand everyone makes mistakes and that's how we really get stronger.

It just seems that after all the work you've done and effort you've put into procuring ethically and packaging well that you might have been a little too nice.

But i guess you want to keep the main thing the main thing and that's eating fruit...

Mac, I'm not a parent and as I said I really, really, really don't like McDonalds and their ilk and do my best not to shop there.

I think that most of the people who are against this move by innocent are against these large corporations and their anti-social practices (poor wages, no unions, pollution, poor quality food, high fat, high salt, high sugar etc). So am I and I don't eat, drink or buy from them as much as possible.

I'm going to say something that won't be popular but I think that it has to be said. Underlying the criticisms of this decision, I feel that there may be an element of elitism. Perhaps people don't want innocent to be too big and widely known in case that makes innocent like the McDs, Tescos and Starbucks of the world. Being big doesn't automatically make you evil. There may also be an element of smugness in doing the right thing while those around you aren't (I say this because I t). Objecting to customers of McDonalds having a healthy alternative would be pretty selfish on our part (as innocent customers).

Although I support this move, I hope that innocent stays true to the ethos of their own marketing. I've got my beady eye on you innocent ;-)

Well.. I wasn't really sure how to react - at first I thought 'no no no no no no noooo' coz to be honest Mc D is not a great place to promote your lovely refreshing purely fruity and healthy drinks. But then after reading what you've got to say I reckon it may even work. I think Mc D's reputation will probably improve as they'll be 'praised' for trying to be healthier but i reckon people will have mixed reviews about how it will effect you... some will say your degrading yourselves and others will say your trying to improve children's awareness on healthy drinks - all I have to say is - I'll still be buying innocent drinks regardless! :-) good luck!!!

Hate to think that such a cuddly company as Innocent will associate with the Big M. Bad move guys!!

I think finding Innocent in a McDonalds will in some small way dilute the otherwise toxic nature of these places, and may make those parents that feel guilty about taking their kids there, as well as those parents that simply don't care about heart disease and obesity think its OK to have a burger and chips if they have a fruit smoothie as well. Even a tiny increase in the consumption of McDonalds food is likely to be bad for peoples health, and if innocent's presence in McDonalds has this effect then I'll be dissapointed. Adding a dollop of tasty fruit to a hi-carb/hi-fat calorie rich meal doesn't cancel out the fat and calories, sure the vitamins and minerals will be a good nutritional addition, and infinitely preferable to a full fat Coke, but that's just not the point, we should be getting kids out of McDonalds, not encouraging them to stay there. Obviously McDonalds wouldn't be doing this if they thought they would lose customers, quite the reverse. The bit that really baffles me is that with such amazing distribution, couldn't you guys come up with another way to access children at mealtimes that doesn't run the risk of legitimising such an unhealthy lifestyle? What ideas did you rule out before shaking hands with Ronald?

Not good. The Innocent brand will now be linked with McD's. I think it detracts from the ethos of Innocent. Ok it may well be an ideal opportunity for parents to encourage their kids to eat something healthy, but thats not why people eat in McD's. Is it?

Think this is a very brave move – and could be detrimental as already people in this thread are picturing the Innocent brand, associated with McDonalds?

And you've explained your good reasons for doing it!

What about the people who you cant reach to explain your reasons for selling at Ronalds House?

Good luck my innocent brothers and sisters!!

A lot of you are right, people who eat in McDonalds or let their kids eat there don't deserve access to fresh fruit...

I think if Innocent were serious about a debate, they would have asked this question before tying in with McDonalds. The fact they haven't, I think, gives a more accurate idea of their motivations. Oil companies do not care about the environment, they care about profit. McDonalds does not care about nutrition, it cares about profit. Anything else is cosmetic, and deflects attention from the raison d'etre of these global behemoths. That Innocent have chosen to associate themselves with something that is the polar opposite to their core beliefs is simply astonishing.

Interesting blog post. I'm somewhat surprised that to realise that if Innocent had added a final paragraph along the following lines, I would respect them a lot more than I do now:

"Of course, having our products in McDonalds will also mean we make a lot of money. This will mean we can continue to operate the business in the way we want, and continue to pursue our dream. We exist to make money as much as dreams though - and I'm sure you will all appreciate that."

But they didn't so I'm a lot less impressed.

Problem is that, at the moment, people genuinely respect Innocent and their company ethos - but it just doesn't fit with the billion dollar, corporate image of McD's!

It's going to be a hard slog to assure 'family' and public that this is about childrens health and not just about profit. On the other hand, you're a business and that's what businesses do when they expand I suppose.

Not a smoothie move in my opinion!

Good grief. I drink Innocent smoothies because they taste nice. Not because they make the world a better place (they don't) but becuase they're just really tasty. And the packaging makes me smile.

This is a private, commerical, profit making company with a turnover in 2007 (according to their online 'cheat-sheet') of £100 million.

For all those of you who want to change the world and make it a better place, I'd stop with the ethical dilemas about which bottled squished fruit product you buy and get invovled in some politcs.

Your choice of pomegranate and raspberry smoothie will not end poverty, stop exploitaiton or save the planet. It might make you feel a bit better about yourself as a consumer - which is fine - but that's all it will do.

And on that point I am off to Sainsbury's to buy an Innocent smoothie...

Don't do it.

I find this news very disturbing. One of my strong factors to support you was that you didn't support the exploitation of workers, and that is everything that Mc Donalds does, and by doing this i feel saddened so please please don't!!!

McSell out

My gut feeling - soooo disappointed, for all the reasons outlined above. I wonder whether there could have been a better venture to get involved with that focuses on the dietary intake of children - perhaps reducing the retail cost of the children's range of smoothies in general, not just in schools (although this wouldn't be as effective for business). Surely children (and adults)deserve better than this (put simply, a fruit drink with a poor excuse for a meal)? The cynic in me asks whether Innocent is about to be bought out, or whether this is a way of inflating profit margins and brand recognition worldwide?? Harsh I know, but it depends what the future focus for the development of the Innocent brand is - commercialism per se or a sound, ethically motivated company that engenders respect and brand loyalty from it's customers. As I said, disappointed.

I sort of understand your decision, but still think it's the wrong one.

You will now have to become a guilty pleasure, drunk in the privacy of my own home only...

A sell out.

Frankly I don't need companies who sell out on their credentials as quick as this.

You can have your McD's but you won't be appearing in my shopping trolley again.

At least Ben & Jerry's has some ethics and waited years before selling on.

Go to McD's and lose those who have supported you.


I completely agree with Justine. Innocent aren't being bought out by McDonalds and they won't start making smoothies out of squished kittens as a result of this move. Offering a healthier drink to children that would be eating in McDonalds anyway is a good thing.

Think I have to agree with Justine. I know we all want to do our bit, and buying innocent as opposed to other bully brands make us feel all warm and fuzzy as we hand over our cash, but that is really all there is to it. Innocent has to make money to succeed.

Innocent drinks taste fab, are great for us and at the same time we can sleep well knowing that we support an ethically proactive company. We wouldn't buy the drinks if they tasted like my husband's old socks after he'd been jogging, even if they were produced by some fair trade farmer in a jungle somewhere...

The fact that they have teamed up with MacD's doesn't mean Innocent have stopped what they are doing. What we can see is a small company (in comparison) who is going from strength to strength and leading by example. Innocent can send out the message that it can be a successful company without trading in it's morals, and working with other comanies to show them the way. It's a trade off.

Innocent, you have opened a great debate. I think it's a good move. Even if the trial doesn't work out it means that the exposure to Innocent will only be a positive thing. If one mum recognises it in a supermarket and gives it to their kids becasue they saw the label in MacD's, it can only increase exposure to the product. Good for mums and kids (and innocent) alike.

i knew you'd crack eventually and take the money. depressingly predictable.


another bunch of hippy capitalists sells out...just like Body Shop.

you just lost another customer

i think that letting macdonalds sell them is a excellent idea. This way kids are going to be drinking healthier, and i can have a innocent while enjoying a macdonalds. Excellent idea. this way more people will be drinking them. and maybe even the more people that start to but them, they can put their price down :) .

get on it!

im going to go now to get a smoothie.

This week our kids smoothies are going on trial in a few branches of Hell. We're excited about this as it means we get more fruit in front of tortured souls, 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 those condemned in torment for all eternity. But, depressingly, more than 90% of souls in Hell 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 Limbo at a discounted rate to make them more affordable). So when Satan 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 Hell was the right thing to do, both for our business and for our drinkers - more screaming wraiths of humanity would get the opportunity to eat more fruit. And in our world or the next that is a very good thing. We'll keep you posted with how it goes. And we'd love to hear your thoughts.

A bit harsh I think, Mark.

hi, i would just like to say that i think it is a good idea to sell your drinks in McDonalds! i do not see the harm, infact it is a positive thing. i sometimes visit mcdonalds and i would definately buy the drink myself! i often drink the kids smoothies and think they are fab. All you are doing is helping mcdonalds to be that little bit healthier! they already are trying to be healthier anyway! they have fruit and milk for children already and for adults you can have a salad. Granted they probably are not as healthy as we might like, but it is convience food! i think you should sell your drinks all over the world and help to promote healthy diets. It does not matter where you sell them, you are making a difference and that is what counts!

Just to go back , especially to what Stuart said, my problem isnt with McDondalds being ultra commercialism incarnate its their environmental and animal welfare track records that make me hate this company.
I would never eat there again and havent since the late 80s because of this.
This is why although Starbucks and the regimentation of the High Street bothers me its not the reason I would castigate Innocent.
It is also not about commercialism for this reason. That when a company such as Innocent that uses, and was supposedly set up (and I dont have any doubts about this), with an 'ethical' dimension then uses that ethical,natural,good for you dimension in everything it does and makes its customers feel part of that ethos, then goes and ties up with an anti-christ of the ethical world it leaves a loyal customer wondering and despairing.

Oh and to Justine, you are perfectly right that nothing political will change by what kind of fruit juice you buy. In saying that though I think the Innocent Directors may have had some sort of change in mind when they started.
That change was to the nations eating habits and they have made such enourmous progress it is to their credit.
I think in a liberal-capatalist-democracy we all want to believe that buying power can change the world because political ideals seem to be dead, of course it wont and this is why Justine is right in that respect.

Where she is off the mark begins with where can we make a difference then?
If we hear of multinationals (who have more power than many countries) are wielding their power for greed irrespective of ethics what should we do?
Theres is almost nothing we can do apart from disagree as loudly as we can and refuse to buy,join in or hold hands with these 'empires'.

Its not about feeling 'warm and fuzzy' can you not see past your own feelings? Its about making a stand, however futile against bad things. 'Warm and fuzzy' is a term Daily Mail writers and readers would call all of us , in a derogatory manner, who try to live life doing as little harm on the planet as we can, ethical shopping is much much more than that and you really should look closer at why people do that before being so dismissive.

Because its not about naivety its about powerlessness and having no where else to go to make our protest heard

Thanks for all of the comments. We've spent most of the day glued to our computers reading them.

Seems like this post is throwing up lots of questions, so we're going to make a list of those questions/issues and write a post containing the answers by the end of the day.

Hope that sounds agreeable.

I have to say that I won't be buying Innocent Smoothies again due to this. MacDonalds have a disgusting record in animal cruelty, and I'm damned if I'll support them in any way, shape or form. Unfortunately for the previously well regarded Innocent, this includes not buying the products of other companies that chose to get into bed with them. I will only buy from ethical companies, by joining forces with MacDonalds, that no longer includes Innocent.

Innocent promoting themseleves as a 'different' company and putting their wares in schools and MacDonald's? Both aiming them at the most demanding consumers of all - children, and getting everyone talking about them.

Whoever your spin and marketing guys are, they are good. Very good.

Here's a question: why did no one get uopset about Innocent selling their smoothies in Pret A Porter, which is 1/3 owned by Ronald McDonald?

Shouldn't there at least have been 1/3 the outcry?

Don't MacD's in the UK support the rainforest alliance too?

Change happens from the inside first. This is a good move in practical terms and an uphill one from your customers eyes. A classic communications challenge. (Angel gently whispering into the devils ear to change his ways)

I don't think that you did it for the money, and I believe that it it was done with the best of intentions. But it is just wrong. God maybe you did do it for the money. MacDonalds is a company on the way down. They are still big now, but they are on a downward spiral, people are waking up to their unhealthy food, and they are going elsewhere. Sure it will take a while, but all innocent is doing is helping MacDonalds survive longer. And that is not the way to get healthy food into kids. MacDonalds sure needs to 'look' healthier. And innocent is helping them appear that way. You may be directly selling them healthy smoothies. But is innocent also indirectly supporting MacDonalds selling unhealthy burgers, potentially increasing and extending the company's shelflife. Do you want that on your conscience. Get real MacDonalds can never re-brand themselves as a healthy food place. Get out of bed with them.

Your smoothies taste good but I don't want a bitter aftertaste. So with regret, I'm also going to drop my support for Innocent if it continues with its McDonald's deal.

I stopped going to Pret when McDonald's bought into them.

It's one thing just having the smoothies sold in stores that I don't support, like Tesco but an actual partnership is something completely different.

McDonald's need to clean its act from the ground up rather than partner up with more ethical companies to try and make itself look good. McDonald's unethical practices go beyond the marketing of unhealthy food.

People love to Mchate don't they. I think your stance is great. I worked as a lowly burger flipper for McDs for 5 years and it was a great experience... I think that they have been trying very hard to shift their food product offering and I think adding Innocent to this is a class move (on both parts). Innocent, stick by it... I work for a newspaper that I don't necessarily agree with all the views on, but it's true what someone has said on here, i.e. change comes from inside. You might only be a little part of the McMachine, but a part that will help change. Well done

Does this mean that McDonalds is beginning (gradually) to go organic?

I see that you are keeping the benefits to children as your main aim - but this seems to hand McDonalds good PR on a plate. They're seen to be more ethical and healthy in one easy swoop, when actually it's the opposite. Innocent will also be seen to support the ethos of Mcdonalds, something I thought was virtually impossible!

To me, teaming up with McDonalds is no worse than having Innocent in supermarkets, what with Tescos tactics with the UK food industry.

Innocent have never said "we're always going to be a small company", and have always been honest with us, their consumers, so I'm all for the expansion.

I think the Innocent "We are always going to be a small company" went years ago but the hype and slogan makes a good soundbite.

No different from any other company just using the phrase to sound better.

If nothing this shows a deep hypocrisy in making a pact with the devil.

Can we have some truth from Innocent in future rather than the PR Spin.

hi i am dissapointed at u!! ..mcdonnalds is disgusting and putting your name with thers is like saying ur drinks are unhealthy! even mcdonnalds salad contains fat! its just wrong! DONT DO IT! if mc D's want a healthy drink to make more ppl come 'coz they finally did something healthy! they should make one themselvs! they r so lazy! ...ooh and this is hardly anything to do with it..but that mascot the clown thing is freaky..maby coz i have like chloraphobia or something but i saw this little girl cry when he was there b4! it not good...clowns freak ppl out!!

I think that its awesome..
i actually just went into my local Mcdonalds today [my brother wanted an ice cream :P] && spotted them..
was a nice suprise..


I'm finding it so hard to decide my views on this but I definitely agree with Dave above, the small company idea has gone fast - you have to realise that whatever your real motives are as a company, the friendly customer love comes across as just another advertising tactic that (albeit works very well) doesn't really retain the close-knit image!

Maybe you really do care about making sacrifices with your image to make more kids drink fruit drinks, but it doesn't come across that way even with the lovely blog. Maybe there are other ways to think about?

McD is only using Innocent as a means to promote a different corporate image. After all, if it wanted to sell healthy smoothies it could have found any number of suppliers willing to white-label their products for McD.

Innocent is doing this because it wants to sell more units of its pulped and liquidised fruit. Will this stop me buying Innocent products? Probably not. Will it change my attitude about Innocent? Unquestionably: regardless of all the guff on the side of their cartons and their twee website, this deal makes them no different to any other company. Why expect any different?

A big shame. What on earth are you thinking! Getting more fruit in front of kids. Absolute rubbish. McD wants your reputation - it could get the fruit from anywhere. You want the dollars. Well done for holding the sell out for so long. Sold. Out.

You've lost a few more customers around here.
There are so many great ways to get fruit into kids that can be initiated or supported by a company such as yourselves. Great ways that are not endorsing and encouraging kids and families in frequenting somewhere that has already done so much harm.
The tide has only recently turned against McDonalds. Surely it would be better to unify with ethical businesses in a firm 'no' to McDonalds, and companies like them, than to help them back up to the top?
This was unnecessary.

We think that this is a really good idea!!! Loads of kids go into McDonalds (we should know, we are some) and given the option, most of the people we know would go for the smoothie over the fizzy drink. More fruit for all!
Shut up all you mean people, it's a good move!

Well, McDonalds sell juice, and most people opt for the fizzy drink over that, so I think it's fair to assume that a lot of people will still choose it over innocent smoothies (good as they may be). In promoting health, shouldn't the goal equally be to stop people eating unhealthily at the same time as promoting good food? Selling the smoothies in McDonalds dilutes that message and, while I'll still support the brand, I think it's a bad move.

Yeah, and while you're at it, stop supplying the great unwashed in Evil Tesco, you're stopping us from feeling superior with our nice posh smoothies....

Or you could just keep on keeping on. Supplying MaccyD's might just be a good thing for you. I'd rather have the kids that wind up in there introduced to Innocent than some muck owned by Pepsi. Good luck to you all, and fair play for being so open on this blog.

Thanks to everyone who has posted their thoughts in the last 24 hours or so. We've benefited from reading them, whether 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, 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 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 just gives us the opportunity to sell more smoothies, and gives people 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. You can bet we didn’t make this decision lightly. In fact, we even polled our regular drinkers a few weeks ago, 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. And we will continue to try to tread lightly as a company, and 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 will 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 wouldn't have done it if we didn't think both.

Thanks for all of your comments. Please don’t stop 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.

All hail Innocent!

Honestly? I never go to MacDs. Can't stand the "food" and I kinda like my arteries. Having said that I have cousins and their friends who go and if this means instead of some crappy drink they have a smoothie (that I personally adore) then it's a good thing.

MacDs have been making lots of noise about being healthier - surely stocking Innocent means that they really are trying? (Yeah, believe it when I see it, but there's a thing called benefit of the doubt and I like to extend it from time to time.)

Go for it. This world is filled with people who stick their heads above the parapet to do the right thing.

"Bad things happen when good people sit back and do nothing."

Well you've not lost me as a customer. Just you try to.

The naivety of some of the posters astounds me. Do you think that the 'Mac and coke/cola' order will be broken? Its ingrained and you try to tell an 8 year old what they want. Some may buckle most wont.

It totally misses the point anyway. Its not about kids its about ethics. Ethics that extend beyond vitamins.

Oh and one last thing and sorry for the double post but Rich's statement
" In fact, we even polled our regular drinkers a few weeks ago, 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."

,nearly made me choke on my smoothie.

God knows who you asked, I wonder at their reasoning, I mean was it people at your office? Surely your whole idea is to get more drinkers,more customers not just find out what the opinions are of your already converted.

I think you need to grow up, these global companies are ruthless and profit is paramount. If you or any of us stand up and try to make a difference to peoples lives , which who undoubtedly have, then you've got to stick to it. Otherwise what was the point in following it in the first place?

Who you choose to dance with cheek to cheek tells those who care about ethics and integrity the real values at play in your hearts

Well done. You've got me seriously considering whether to bother knitting you any hats this winter.

From the above posts, greenwash and McDollar says it all. Innocent, my fave smoothie company, you have either been incredibly naive or have $$$ before your eyes. PJ anyone?

Its not suprising so many people are against this and are laying in to innocent.
Its always easier to be against something so you can take the moral highground if it fails. Its much harder to be a supporter because you have to put your faith into someone elses hands. Well i for one am not a coward and i have every faith in innocent. I think its a fantastic idea and will give not just kids but adults as well the option of a healthy smoothie instead of a sugary fizzy tooth rotting drink. Good luck innocent you have my support!!!!

As you probably expected, a lot of yay and a lot of nay. In my world, that is a good thing, creating such strong following or opposition instead of pleasing everyone--which all sane people know it's impossible.

In your shoes, I'd make sure I report here on the development of the experiment and further decisions. As well, I expect you get more (than) money out of this venture, otherwise the deal is off balanced in favour of McDo.

Here's an idea: you want your kids to eat healthily? Don't take them to McDonalds.

Does the goodness of your drink outweigh the badness of their food (not to mention their ethics)?

I very much doubt it.

This is a fascinating post - people are really exercised by this move and it's great that we care so much to debate the issues raised.

I think that good nutrition is more important than brand image and the sometimes self-righteous beliefs of (middle class) health zealots - especially when it comes to kids. I just hope that enough McD customers buy them and that their children want them again and again.

Innocent may be taking a risk - and maybe McD are too, because if this initiative fails they end up worse off.

Woolly hats off to Innocent, more power to their patched elbows!

Hi, I must admit that I am shocked about this new development. I recently purchased the innocent smoothies book and not because I make smoothies but because I think it is very important to support companies that harbour ethical values. Therefore I am starting to question whether or not I have simply been duped by what is actually quite a profit driven company. I have just one question, if you want children to have greater access to your smoothies, why not lower the price slightly or team up with school dinner or vending machine suppliers?

Nooo Innocent Noooo! First the Veggie Society align themselves with McDonalds and now you - I can see where you are coming from but at the end of the day McDonalds are a corporation whose profits are dependent upon the love of unhealthy food. Please don't sell out, next you'll be doing a Rodderick (of Body Shop) and sell out to Proctor and Gamble - then what smoothie am I going to drink? :(

Negative history makes it hard to consider that this might be a bigger signal of McDonalds good intentions as opposed to anything negative by innocent. Ultimately McDonalds can only profit from popularity. They will want to survive in the very different world from the one they grew in. If today's consensus is for salads and smothies, that's where the profit is, that's what they'll sell.
Personally I'm no big Mac fan but if you take a look into their support for environmental issues over the last couple of years you'll be surprised. Always better to win Goliath over than have to kill him.

Hello. This was really interesting to hear everyone's views but I honestly think everyone claiming that they're never buying one of your smoothies again is pathetic. Get a grip!
You're clearly just trying to do your 'bit' and I think it's great.
Little by little and all that jazz....

It will definitely make me think twice about purchasing any Innocent products. The reputation of McDonald's has had its ups and downs (predominantly downs)over the years so surely aligning yourself with them has an affect on your own?

Don't make me lose that warm and fuzzy feeling please guys. And don't turn into the corporate monster you said you never would.


Each and every one of you complaining people are retarded whores. I'm ashamed to be from the same planet as you.


I think your drinks are great. With regard to your teaming up with McDonalds, people should think more broadly. In my view if you can be the means for McDonalds to offer good drinks then that's the way. Surely if children start to drink your drinks and not Coke that must be good. Be strong and believe in your approach and don't be put off by narrow views whose only aim is to destroy Mc donalds - it won't happen.

I do not think this is a good idea. Innocent Smoothies take pride in being 100% healthy and with low carbon emmisions etc.

McDonalds is an unhealthy fast food source which destroy the environment, disrupt habitat (rainforests etc.) and cause people to become more unhealthy.

By linking Innocent to McDonalds, you may overall increase the number of customers, but you will also loose several people who are anti-McDonalds due to the negative reckless effect they have on the environment. It will dilute the ethics of Innocent, so why spoil the 100% natural Innocent just to spread the brand? It would demean the company.

I can see the theory that you are helping people to drink healthier, but firstly the McDonalds drinks are far cheaper (due to the contents) so most fastfood buyers will not be keen to spend extra money, and secondly it will only make McDonalds healthier when people buy the drinks, which they could do at any other place.

Please don't do it. You really don't need to!

Sounds like a lot of people only buy innocent drinks cause you are all so nice to your staff...

what other products do they buy? and from where do they buy them?

dont care if you sell innocent drinks out of sweat shops in china...makes no difference to me.

this is not a good move guys. McD don't have the best reputation amoungst the yummy mummy brigade. And somehow i think it this lot that keep you in business

RE the integrity of McDonalds, have you talked to Helen Morris or David Steel about the integrity of McDonalds? They are the McLibel pair who have exposed the lack of integrity of McDonalds senior Mgt over the last 10 years.

Re the quality of their 'food', I challenge you consume a couple of their meals and watch/listen/feel/smell your body's reaction as it attempts to process the 'food' is has ingested! I was amazed one afternoon. I have a high vegetable/ fruit diet but Johnny Fartpants effect of having consumed a couple of their 'food' items was amazing...

its good for the kids!

When I first heard about innocent joining Macdonalds it seemed like a bad idea and I was disappointed in innocent. But then yesterday I heard one of your founders on the PM program on Radio 4 explaining the decision and he was great and so passionate about the fruit in front of kids thing, totally changed my mind.

I am not surprised really. Innocent are just as corporate as everyone else. They have just managed to get a good image through marketing.

E.g. "Some of our fruits are not fair trade as they don't always taste the best". Come on!!!! Tell the truth, it's because you can rip off farmers and make bigger profits.

I have met most of you lot at some point (bet you wonder who I am) but while you are nice enough people, you are as corporate as the rest of them.

Thanks for hooking up with McD's and showing everyone.

You might - in due course - be gutted ?

If this trial rolls out from the North East into a McD's near me - I won't be buying any more Innocent Smoothies.

Your holistic ethical and responsible approach to business was what caused me to buy your products (there are other smoothies that taste as good)

This crazy decision to partner with McD's could undermine all the good that you have done/will do !

Ronald McDonald's corporate sharks and bandits don't deserve to benefit from being associated with you !

Ronald must be laughing all the way to his Bank in Manhattan !!

If you continue to associate with them you run the risk of being hoist by your own petard !!!

Please reconsider.

'The whole company had a meeting over lunch...'

Yeah right. What you really mean is:

'McDonalds CSR & Marketing teams approaced our top execs and bombarded us with ROI's and projected sales figures. We slowly realised that increasing our turn-over was far more important than staying true to the message we've been pushing to public. And the folk at MD's also gave us veiled promised of an opportunity to break in the USA via their outlets...'

The word 'innocent' can no longer be used to describe a company that now has blood on it's hands. Irrelevant that this maybe a way to get fruit into kid's diet - how on God's earth can you associate yourselves with McDonalds? Do you have any idea what this company has done to both the planets and its inhabitants over the last 40 years? Any idea at all?

It's not for me to tell you -a quick browse online will show you the utter devastion of vast areas of S.America that McDonalds has sanctioned. Speak to the people on the ground. Speak to the homeless indigenous populations of these areas - turfed out of their land so an American junk food retailer and now a British smoothie manufacturer can make a quick buck.

McDonalds' history speaks for itself. Whatever they say or do now, they cannot escape the crimes they have committed in the past. Innocent should have the balls to turn them down flat.

How much of a better PR story would that have been?
'Innocent drinks turn down deal with McDonalds!'
A far, far better headline.

For what its worth- my family and I will be removing Innocent Drinks from our shopping basket.

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