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May 02, 2007


Well said Rich.

I'm not in business but I always thought that to get on you had to take risks. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't and you learn from your mistakes.


It works. Innocent in MacDs means kids start to choose it over cola, they bug their parents who at the very least buy it on their weekly shop.

It doesn't. You figure out what went wrong in the marketing and you learn how to better promote your products to kids who don't normally get good stuff.

What if MacDs had asked to stock the smoothies? What would it have looked like had Innocent said no? They could easily have been accused of actually *preventing* kids from getting at least one portion of veg with their deep fried burger.

Surely that's worse.

Why do people jump to the conclusion that by doing this that somehow the Innocent ethos will be polluted?? What about the possibility that Innocent could have a positive influence on McDonalds? Have some faith people! I for one will be delighted to see Innocent smoothies in McDonalds - don't suppose your trial area is going to include Aberystwyth is it?!

Tell you one thing, aside from the Mcd's thing it is great to see a company having this communication with it's customers.

I'm on the fence still but still watching!

I have to agree with the majority of posters to the previous blog message...I am very disappointed with Innocent's new venture with McDonalds. While I can wholeheartedly see the good reason for trying to get kids/people in general to eat more healthily - if that is the case, they really shouldn't be in McDonalds in the first place.

And that's not to mention the whole ethical issue...c'mon McDonalds of all companies????

Perhaps 'Innocent Smoothies' won't be such an appropriate name anymore. Maybe you should rename as 'just a little bit tainted Smoothies'

Over here in Holland you can get organic milk and organic fruit snack thingies at McD as part of a Happy Meal.

I'm not disappointed at all that Innocent is trialling at McD in the UK - just when are you going to do it here? ;)

I take my kids to McD about once every couple of months. Other people take my kids to McD if they have them on sleepover or something.

I know that if there was a smoothie option my kids would choose it because that's the kind of kids they are - right now they choose milk.

And fwiw, we have a very healthy lifestyle - about 90% of the time we eat only organic home-made food.

Someone said to me recently 'I didn't think you were the type of person who would be seen dead in McDonalds!?"

My answer was, 'everyone has their foibles'

You'd be surprised at all the different kinds of people that eat there especially here in Europe where there is less of that 'I'm eating all my benefit money at McD' mentality.

Nothing is as cut and dried as 'if you want a healthier lifestyle don't eat at McDonalds' - little changes work people.

Having a fruit smoothie option for a Happy Meal is a good baby step on the way to having more healthy choice options for the kids.

Sorry, but if you jump into bed with the enemy, you're going to get screwed

To echo what Will Vaughan posted, it's great to see a sompany and brand communicate so honestly and openly with the customers it cares about...

It makes us care about you guys and gals all the more!

Great idea going to McD's...forget the people who moan and have nothing better to do....they probably drive giant 4x4's and eat musuli...
Sure McD's food isn't the best...but it has got me out of many a tight spot with hangovers etc etc...and lets not forget....other super markets are making the kind of drinks your you are in the business to sell...and new markets must be opened , you should be are providing children with fresh fruit juice at McD's not some watered down orange drink they used to get there...a pat on the back.....booooo to all you closed minded people who can't see this.....booooooo

If even one child or one mum thinks about changing their drinks buying habits as a result of you being in mcDs, then that is a great thing. There's too much guff written by cynics about good companies selling out - it's that old British thing of setting people/companies up as heroes and then knoocking them down at the first opportunity. We should all of us think a bit harder before we sound off - and I am as guilty as everyone else. So Innocent, keep right on doing what you're doing.

All this nonsense about Innocent having a positive effect on McDonalds is just that. Flogging a few smoothies will not make a bit of difference to them. It will, however, make a difference to Innocent in the eyes of many. It's all about money, it would seem, and you won't be getting any more of mine.

Hmm. Doesn't this just mean McDs get an 'innocent' reputation while they go about their usual cynical fact-concealing, money grabbing busines?

Do people really think that McDs are now concerned about the environment/health? McDs are just trying to make sure they go on making loads of money.

So, they get to buy a little bit of your kudos, and you sell... out?

Are you charging them as much as you would a small independent outlet? Or do they get a nice big competition-busting discount too?

If people go to McDs now instead of a smaller place - because they can get Innocent drinks there - does that make you happy?

Have you asked the McLibel two what they think of your brave new move? Did you see that film? Do you really seriously think that McDs have changed sincer they tried to crush dissent? They must be laughing behind your backs big time.

I have been 100% brand faithful to you guys, not buying any other smoothies/juices until now. But this? Not convinced at all. Think I'll be off elsewhere myself.

Either you are stupid, which I'm sure is not the case, or like Green & Blacks and Pret you have sold out big time.

Boo to you guys.

innocent what do you think of macdonalds?

please can you answer me that.

what do you think of their food?

I know you are not foolish enough to think that by teaming up with macdonalds you will make kids healthier. So it is the money.

and i don't think that it is going to make you money in the long term. you have a powerful brand. this can only damage it.


i don't "buy" you are just trying to get more fruit in front of kids.. you are jumping "into bed" with McDonalds who have a reputation for cutting down rainforests and unhealthy food full of sugar... Ehy don't you team up with Leon.. next it will be KFC ?!

I wonder what some of the contributors think about Innocent Smoothies having been sold in Starbucks for - how long?

Could there be a teensy-weensy bit of classism going on?

Is it really about commercialism, selling out etc or is it the worthy brigade wanting to stay holier (and healthier) than thou?

I don't see what the big fuss is here. Do those who think the sky is falling in also think innocent should stop selling smoothies in certain supermarkets, because of the way they allegedly exploit their suppliers? It's the same concept, and yet I don't see calls for innocent to boycott Tesco and only sell their smoothies in Waitrose.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter one single bit where innocent smoothies are sold. What matters is that they ARE sold, and that more and more people have the option of choosing them over a less healthy alternative.

Well, Innocent. You said that you wouldn't have done it if your consumers had not wanted you to be in McDonalds, interesting. Where did you do your reserach? In McDonalds? I am a regular drinker (or at least my 3 year old son is) and I definitely do not want you to be in McDonalds. Does this change anything? You also say that nothing has changed, you haven't sold the company, just your smoothies - and your soul too if you're going to be honest. Innocent is about a set of values and principles that mean something (or at least, used to) and to mean something to people, you have to stand by what you believe, no matter what. Of course you are going to use the argument that it means that every kid having a smoothie in McDonalds is not having a fizzy drink but that is a poor, lazy excuse for exploiting your brand commercially. You are tarnishing what you stand for as a brand by associating yourself with a brand that stands for obesity and exploitation. Shame on you.

No, shame on you Clare. This is lazy thinking, misguided and elitist. In what way does selling in McD (and Tesco, Asda, Starbucks etc) change what Innocent stands for? Who do you think healthy products should be limited to?

I'm all for it. Having boycotted MacDs for near 15 years (I'm 24) I'm glad something good is happening there. Cynicism doesn't change a thing, but hope and passion does. All this 'screw you, you're jumping into bed with the enemy' lark is just a waste of time and energy. If you really care so much, if you think you are saving the world by buying smoothies, then set up your own company and try to be as successful as innocent. It takes a lot of guts to do what innocent have done and I don't envy the position they are in.

The Body Shop is owned my L'Oreal, Green and Blacks is owned by Cadburys but... innocent HAVEN'T sold out. They're independent. They're still the same people. They still have the same goals.

Starbucks could be said to be worse than MacDs if you look at the expansion of the business, the lack of ethics when you look at how much coffee ISN'T fair trade. How much waste they produce. Yet it's OK for them to sell innocent smoothies? For heaven's sake people! If you care so much set up an ethical fast food chain, but don't criticise innocent for trying to make a difference. Yes, that's what it boils down to. There are companies far worse than the evil MacDs but we use them. We don't complain. We don't think.

All I can say is pfft.

well said, Rosie - pfft indeed

the way to change things for the better is surely from the inside, setting up Cos with commitment from the start and getting established Cos to make a difference

I notice you call them 'innocent'

Hi Innocent,

I'm against McDonalds as a company as its record on the ethical side is really poor and the food is rubbish. I didn't even like the food when I was a kid! Anyhow, I do think its good that your stocking smoothies to give parents and kids a choice of a healthy drink. The only company I dislike more than McD is the Coke company, so good luck to you.

i can see both sides of the debate, but overall am going with my gut ... and into my gut i would not put mcdonalds ... therefore i would not put innocent into mcdonalds

the brits love a backlash and the word of mouth smear of the innocent brand is going to be bad ... such a shame ... you've come so far to fall so far, so quickly

if you'd have taken a stand against mcdonalds, that would have been positive PR for sure

mcdonalds have done so much damage ... they have devoured so much of the earth .. their carbon footprint is massive ... they encourage meat eating which is hugely damaging in terms of its own footprint, from so many angles ... they've been trashing the amazon to feed their chickens

you should be encouraging healthy eating ... vegetarianism even ... not to wash down mcdonalds slurry with an innocent smoothie

innocent is now 'not so innocent'

to sell is your aim, but to sell out in the pursuit of sales is such a shame

richard reed can spin this one as much as he likes and i accept most of what he says, but at the end of the day an innocent smoothie now leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth

deeply disappointing

I just wanted to say that you guys are great.

I've been an Innocent drinker for years now, and I've loved watching the way the company has grown and moved and the way you've been so open and honest about your thinking all the way along.

You don't have to share any of this with us. But you do. And it's brilliant. It means that we can know for sure that every drink of yours we see on a McDonalds shelf sits there with a whole cratefull of careful thought and consideration behind it.

Thanks for sharing. Don't ever stop.

I completely agree with Jonathan. It's good to care about the planet etc but not worth damaging your blood vessels over. McDonalds exists, lots of children go there whether we like it or not, now they can be a little bit healthier thanks to Innocent. How can that be bad?

For heaven's sake - why are so many people getting hung up about this? It's a GOOD thing that when someone goes and eats a burger, they have an opportunity to even things up by drinking an Innocent smoothie and taking fruit on board!

I think I'd love to have the choice of a smoothie at McDonald's. Especially at breakfast time, when all they have (or used to have?) is this horrendous-tasting "orange juice". And especially for kids' meals - at the moment in parts of Asia, they only have this sad little carton of apple juice to choose from, which I'm sure is full of concentrates and preservatives and goodness knows what. Would be so much better if it was an Innocent smoothie instead!

Stocking Innocent smoothies in McDonald's isn't going to make me want to go to McDonald's more (much easier to just pick up a carton of Innocent from Sainsbury's), and I'm quite sure it's not going to affect the regularity with which parents bring their kids to McDonald's. But I think it's great that somehow, there may be something to offset an otherwise unhealthy meal...

Oh and last thing. I wouldn't touch the orange juice at McDonald's (well or what I remember of it) with a ten foot pole... simply because it tastes horrendous. The current next best option on their menu is a Diet Coke (fizzy, sweeteners, but no calories)...

By the way: any plans to expand to other countries? When I'm not in the UK, Innocent smoothies are one of the things I miss - and I wish I could get them for some of the kids I know! Haha...

You mention Pret A Manger. Aren't they owned by McD's? Let's hope you don't go the same way.

So, it seems here too many people are obsessed with the whole underdog thing.
We Brits like the underdog, the small company that only we know about etc. So when it does well and everyone else knows about it we cease liking it for selling out? Crazy!
Anyhoo, if Innocent is a success in MCD's maybe they'll try more Innocent type things relating to packaging and sourcing. Is this bad? People should still support independent shops, but when you go to MCD's (surprisingly some people too) isn't it better that you have a CHOICE to buy innocent than not.

I just heard you on Radio 5. my thoughts .... great stuff. if McD's also approached organic meat suppliers or bakers then surely it would be good and sensible to work out a contract. deliver fast food as healthily, environmentally and as socially conscious as possible. Good news for everyone because fast food is a huge market, not just kids but also adults love it. and a perhaps controversial thought ... smoothies are fast food! so its a nice match!

for the record, i love your smoothies and principles, and i dont go to McD's.

Sorry guys, you're in bed with a seriously nasty company.

You won't be getting a penny more of my money.

I just called the babana line to confirm that you're dealing with Satan.. sorry, McNasties - on hearing it's true I poured my carton of cranberry and rasberry down the sink as I spoke to the lady there, McYuk are the worst of junk food capitalist nonsense and I'll have naught to do with them and thus, with innocent smoothies if they're in bed with the beast.

Shame, love your drinks and take one to work each day - I'll start buying again once you stop.


i just hope that mcdonalds put sufficient effort and consideration into your product. my experience of them is that they aim to do everything faster, cheaper and not usually better.
would you care to employ me as a secret smoothie tester and i can check that that they're not tampering with your product?

I hope you make it abundantly clear in the media if you decide not to deal with that dreadful company as I'll certainly not find out by reading your packaging at the breakfast table any more, bad idea. I hope more feel the same way as I and that you see the public reaction in plummeting sales, love the company, love the drinks but.... McDonalds ? - what's next, photos of Mugabe on the carton ?

Ditch the crapburger connection and I'll happily buy again, but not until.

What a great initiative! I cant wait to see the new labels on your smoothies... "We promise to brush our teeth" will soon be replaced by "at Innocent we have a passion for delivering values for our shareholders".

You go to McDonalds for fast food, not fresh healthy food. I'm not so 'closed minded' that I would stand on an upturned pot and say I'm not having innocent anymore because they are in McDonalds - but I think you have to be aware of the fine line you are treading. If Tesco smoothies had been introduced at McDonalds I think less people would have batted an eyelid - but because it's you Innocent - whose ethos is 'ethical' based - this is why the uproar has started. I really hope you do convince some kids to down a smoothie whilst they have their fried food - but be wary that lust for profits doesn't overshadow a willingness to help encourage healthier eating x

noooo noooo noooo
please don't sell to mcD's they are bad bad bad. they don't care abot the world like you do, they aren't ntural in the slightest.
keep it natural and innocent please.

Will you be inviting McDonald's to sell their wares at Fruitstock this year (or whatever event you are planning)?

Why am I not surprised? Innocent smoothies are not so innocent if they are even considering the idea of teaming up one of the most awful corporations in the world. also I find it hard to believe that 72% of your regular drinkers want you to be involved in mcdonalds. (lies,damn lies and statistics)

Good move, now try and get them to take smoothies for us adults too.

McD's does fast food, there's no reason it can't be fast and healthy...

i've been thinking about this a bit more and it feels like how you must feel when you thought that you were part of a really happy and cosy family where everything seemed rosy and then you find out that your uncle is a paedophile.
i now feel really uncomfortable

Q. Do you know why I buy your smoothies?

A. Because they taste brilliant and they're good for me.

Q. What do I think of McDonalds?

A. They're a loathsome, despicable company who have not had the benefit of my patronage in over 15 years.

So, in conclusion......

I like your smoothies, and I never go into McDonalds anyway.

Sell to whoever you like; all I care about is the product and your methods and ethics of production. McDonalds can sing about being healthy until they're blue in the face, but no-one with any sense will be fooled by them.

However......... change anything about the way you make your drinks and you won't see me for dust.

I think by the resounding opinion of your readers (and I hope you've tested the water with your staff too), it would be better for your brand to not continue working with McD.

To remind people of the sort of company McD is (or at least used to be) look at

It feels totally opposite to the brand image Innocent wishes to portray and brand, especially in this day and age, is as important as the product. There are lots of other smoothie manufacturers (I've seen the competitors wall at Fruit Towers) and they will be rubbing thier hands in anticipation of extra business lost by Innocent if this alliance continues.

Please don't crumble and forget all you stand for. You have built a magnificent business model, its profitable and has a family of happy staff. What more could you want?

If the founders just want to get rich then float, otherwise stick to your morals, move business forward to in the way that your staff and customers believe in.

Kids will consume more fruit, it will be better for them and more readily available if innocent smoothies are sold in Mc D's. This is a very good thing.

However, I think the importance of this fact (which is admittedly very great) is dwarfed by the cost of supprting McDonalnds as an organisation. All the positive work Innocent does for the environment and promoting health (especially for kids) is effectively reversed by the profit from smoothies McDs will gain and contribute to their highly unethical business which bascially contradcits everything innocent smoothies stands for.

Innocent smoothies are famous for the pro-recycling, environmentalist attitude.

McDonalds produced millions leaflets about how they're tarting up their 'environmental policy' (which was hardly revolutionary) on 0% recycled paper.

Innocent are all about getting healthy stuff that tastes good as well into people, especially little kids.

McDonalds will market anything with a bit of green on it as a 'healthy option' despite the fact this is a complete lie. Their salads infamously have almost as many calories as their heavily fatty, pro-deforestation, pro-animal cruelty burgers.

By selling innocent in McD's kids will certainly be getting more fruit, but this is effectively redundant considering the costs.

This is a lesson in how to destroy a fantastic brand profile with one act of greed. Partnering with McDonald's - a firm with zero moral or ethical beliefs - has sullied your company's reputation. While the majority may not see the irony in this relationship, I'm a vegetarian and I certainly won't be buying 'Innocent' products ever again.

I am disgusted reading all of these comments by people who probably don't even go to McDonald's. They have changed over the years. I know people who have worked there and they offer a good job to kids who are going through school, giving them money and a work ethic. It is a great idea that the smoothies are going to be in McDonald's. I like them even though they are expensive and I tend to buy cheaper brands, but maybe this will allow parents to encourage their kids to eat more fruit. I got my facts from

Hey Guys

I say good luck and congrats....for those to ingnorant to accept....Mc'shites it what it is...the fact that Innoncent have a chance to put something positve on their Menu is a truly good thing. And as much as we all despise Mc'Shites we have to accept the fact they are always gonna be around. Our only hope is to change them from the inside. Perhaps their sales of the smoothies will be so successful that they will start to relalsie that offering qauilty organic healthy food is the way forward. How handy would it be for us to have a healthy fast food joint. If anyone wants to lend me about 50 million squid then i'll start a chain up myself...if not then i guess we are stuck with Mc'shites.....

Good luck boys.....
just watch your back...dont get greedy and your come out all good

Si Chai
Creative Nature

I am amazed by your decision to even consider working with McDonalds. Don't they pretty much go against all you stand for?! And i'm not naive enough to believe that they are better than they used to be, they are unethical, greedy and, news flash! don't care whether kids are healthy or not as long as kids are stuffing their faces there and not elsewhere.

Seriously, honestly, do you think this will encourage kids to be healthier?! THATS naive.

I always considered Innocent one of the good guys, the complete opposite to corporations like McDonalds and that your ethics were similar to my own. Turns out maybe i am naive after all, this is about money, pure and simple. I know you're in the business to make money but its about choices, there are many other ways to encourage kids to eat healthier, without encouraging kids to eat in a fast food joint in the first place.

You've sold your soul to Satan guys and i for one will no longer be buying your drinks, regardless of how amazing they taste.

Like i said, its about choices, i choose not to be a part of this sell out.

Innocent. The definition of irony

Hey, go for it! get the little brats drinking more smoothies if they're going to eat under the arches of doom give them something helathy to drink, but also use this to your advantage. It is only your repuation on the line, McDonalds has and will recive nothing but hightened interest, both in sales and thier "wonderful effort to forfill their role of "corporate responsibility" lol. They obviouslys must understand this and so influencing these CEO's through this leaverage could do much good for the currently exploited areas.
Besides, it appears to many that thier is no "ethical conflict" with Starbucks!
I will still buy your drinks and tell others abouth your ethical cause

Peace xx

Hurt at first to think that one of my favourite companies of all time (thats you) would even utter the name of that horrid company let alone go into business with them. I understand the "healthy option, better than coke" jazz i just think if someone is in Mcdonalds *shudders* in the first place they aren't the most health consious of people. I'm not going to boycott you like others have threatened (because you are ace) but i hope Mcdonalds don't gain in anyway from your union, Mcdonalds don't deserve to gain anything..ever.

I am a big fan of free speech but also of free trade. Innocent working with McDonald's is a good thing as it brings more choice to McDonald's and more distribution to Innocent. If people just got off their high horse and thought about what matters and not what the media trains us to think then we would all be a lot happier.

Passé Mac D needed a face lift, with stores closing as people become more enlightened. Sorry guys you should have let them go down on their own. Another customer lost.

If we define a brand as not only products and packaging, but also the actions of a company, you just screwed yours. To many (including me) you are as much about counterculture, great copywriting and jacking the job in to do something less boring instead as you are about drinks. That's what we buy when we pay £1.89 for a smoothie. Rationalising your actions about getting more kids to drink smoothies smacks of the worst kind of expediency. I'd respect you more if you said 'we can make a shedload of cash so wahey, let's go'. Time and again this happens with small companies that do well - just ask those that sold out to Microsoft how they feel now. You had a good thing. Pull out of this deal now and you might just keep it.

Well, I'm a teacher, who has seen the effects of kids going into dumps like McDs... The only reason McDs are courting you at Innocent is cos their image, and therefore their profits have been suffering. This is because people are turning away from their product (be it for ethical, or health reasons). The trouble is that your stance enables Macdonalds to say 'look how we've changed' - it encourages people back into their stores, and so encourages the children you purport to care about to try all their awful, unhealthy stuff (that comes with a delightful toy!) cos they're going to have something to eat with the drink, aren't they? I think you are intelligent enough to know this already. Expand by all means, but don't make excuses about children's health.

I think what you've done is good and think it's obvious you're not a shrewed company that's in it just for the money. Kids will now have a CHOICE in McDs which is surely what it's about? Obviously one drink won't change their lives for ever, but a few could, and it might be their first taste of something fresh! They also have a choice whether they go to McDs or not, so I can't see what the fuss is about there either - no one makes them eat burgers, except perhaps their parents!Yeah, burgers are bad for you, but so's drinking and I like a pint, but I like smoothies too. If my pub sold them I'd probably have one there, so what?! Kids drink from age 12 in the UK, smoke dope from 13 and progress from there surely burgers aren't the real problem? Just for the record I don't mean all kids in the UK, same as all kids in the Uk don't eat McDs. Rant over.

Honestly, some people on this thread - and I quote:

"On hearing it's true I poured my carton of cranberry and rasberry down the sink as I spoke to the lady there, McYuk are the worst of junk food capitalist nonsense and I'll have naught to do with them and thus, with innocent smoothies if they're in bed with the beast.

Shame, love your drinks and take one to work each day - I'll start buying again once you stop." this has become a debate about capitalist values?

Well, like it or not, you live in a capitalist society, where making money isn't a crime, and for innocent to want their product distributed widely is no surprise.

I must admit I raised an eyebrow when learning of innocent's decision, but on the fact of it, I'm like those on this thread - if it gets kids some fruit, it's to be encouraged.

I admire the statement on the blog as well - good for you innocent; far from decrying the company, I think I respect it a little more today.

I think this is absolutely disgusting and will no longer buy innocent smoothies. McDonald's is an evil evil company that has caused and still causes untold damage to peoples health, the environment and animals. I thought innocent was a good company with good morals and policies. Getting together with McDonald's is not right.
Will no longer drink innocent smoothies

Go for it Innocent! I've thought about this Mcd's thing and come to the conclusion that if you have something good then spread it around. I am sure that Innocent will not only be sharing smoothies but the whole package of how they do business. Your integrity as a business shines through and I can only see this as a positive influence for the fast food giants rather than a negative influence on Innocent.

To the people who are crying shame over this:

Did you read what Rich posted above? This is a 'trial', in just one part of the UK. This is not an 'alliance' as one person called it, nor are innocent 'in bed' with McDonalds, any more than innocent are in an alliance with Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose, Asda, Starbucks, or any other outlet that stocks innocent smoothies.

Innocent smoothies haven't changed, the way they are made hasn't changed, and for people to latch on to McDonalds selling them is at best hypocritical, and at worst prejudiced.

I have no love for McDonalds food, its ethics or its practices, but if they're willing to try selling a product that is so clearly nutritious, healthy and ethical then what's the problem? No-one is going to think "ooh, I must go into McD's for an innocent smoothie", let's be honest here.

I'd like to think that the person who said they'd poured their smoothie down the sink was on a wind-up. After all, the product and where he bought it ahsn't changed at all. Sadly, however, seeing some of the misinformed reactionary comments here, it could well be true...

The 'tranparency' of Innocent in using it's blog to communicate it's thoughts on placing it's childrens smoothies in McDonalds is inspired. A few people have already mentioned the words 'green-wash/spin/marketing' could be seen to arise from such brand association...but has anyone considered that by stimulating the above (very healthy) debate, Innocent is also 'spinning' us - by using it's own customers to persuade each other of both sides of the argument? What this effectively does is cause confusion and then apathy amongst those arguing. Before the internet, would an issue like this maybe have stimulated some more proactive protest - product boycotts? campaigning outside fruit towers? It's very easy to vent frustrations and beliefs on blogsites but actions are a more powerful and effective form of protest. If you really object to the McDonalds-Innocent association (Innocent - please note it comes naturally to write McD first...) then communicate that belief back to the company by not buying the drinks. Maybe it will make them change their minds.

To add to my previous comment - any business, however ethical, exists to make a profit. Innocent has a fantastic marketing strategy that differentiates it and makes it what it is. It's move to sell smoothies in McDonalds is obviously to attract a new customer segment and thus make more money - Innocent obviously feel that the most important aspect of their strong brand - consumer trust, is unshakeable, thereby allowing them to take this risk. I would have enjoyed witnessing the internal debate on whether to take this decision or not (real transparency would have been to post a video of it on its website).

As consumers, we need learn how to differentiate the rhetoric from the truth. I haven't expressed a personal opinion on the above because the debate is part of a much larger enormously complicated problem - that of Corporate Social (and environmental) Responsibility. An area that that is not yet government regulated but voluntary. With that in mind it is up to stakeholders to effectively 'market' their own ideas back to companies to effect change.

I'm staggered that Innocent- with such a wholesome, ethical image would tarnish itself by hitching up with McDonalds.
Obviously a great move for McD- they get to bask in Innocence and hope that eventually people will forget what a disgraceful corporation they really are.What do you gain- except financially?You alienate customers who've enjoyed your drinks and laughed at your quirky packaging since the beginning.
I'm proud that I've boycotted McD since 1982, a stance only heightened by the McLibel trial- in which you may remember they tried unsuccessfully to stamp out any criticism.My kids have independently come to the same conclusion about McD, and have now decided we should boycott Innocent too.

Could you make the McD's trial a loss leader, i.e. if it's only a couple of franchises, give innocent away free with happy meals... this would get fruit into more kids, expose more people to the innocent brand, achieving the stated goal and silencing the cynics, erm, including me. You could square this on the balance sheet as part of the 10% donated to charity, and measure the outcome in incremental sales in the proximity of the McDs franchises involved. If there's no increase, or an inadequate increase you'll know that people that eat at McD's either don't really like fruit, don't really care, or simply can't afford Innocent smoothies.

Mmmmm, are Innocent making a pact with the Devil? Selling out?

IMHO, Yes....

To even associate with a brand such as McD**alds is in my eyes , trial or no trial. If this is a success, will innocent pull out of the McDondles deal? Not a chance.

Maybe Innocent will have a buyout on it's hands...McInnocent thanks...

It will be a success, why would it not be? I dont know any of my nephews and friends kids that do not like innocent drinks.

Personally, I steer clear of anything to do with McD**alds. And now that Innocent has sold out to the Big Bully of the fast food world, I will stop buying Innocent products.

It's beggars belief why Innocent would even associate itself with a brand on the decline (our local McD's has closed down, due to the down turn in trade) and struggling to keep it's head above water what with the negative press surrounding the whole fast food industry and McDonalds.

What a shame...

I probably won't stop buying Innocent smoothies. But neither will I feel any loyalty, so rather than walking an extra mile to find somewhere that sells them I'll just buy whatever brands are on offer.

What we need to remember is we're not just customers but members of the innocent family. That means I view innocent like my parents.

Sometimes they make iffy decisions (like buying awful pullovers when you're a kid and sending you to school in them!), but you still love them nonetheless. innocent might make iffy decisions (I'm not bothered about McD, btw), and we might sulk or stomp around a bit, but we still love them and think it's great that they ask our opinion.

So, innocent, keep up the good work, and can I have some extra pocket money please?

First let me introduce myself. I'm Steve Easterbrook, the Chief Exec of McDonald's here in the UK. I've been dipping into this blog over the last couple of days and read with interest what you have been saying. So much so that I wanted to add a few thoughts of my own on why we decided to trial innocent smoothies in our Happy Meals.

What is clear on reading your comments is that you all feel very passionately about the innocent brand and I can easily see why. It's a great company who make delicious smoothies. However, I feel equally as passionate about McDonald's. We are a modern company who has made many changes to our menu and our business over the last few years and from reading all your comments on here it seems that perhaps we could do a better job of telling people about this. So let me share a few things that may surprise you...

We never compromise on the quality of food served at our restaurants and have strict sourcing policies that mean we know exactly where our ingredients are coming from (even to the detail of knowing which field our lettuce is grown in and what the weather was like at the time). We try to be open and honest about our business and it was the concerns of people thinking that we were concealing things from our customers that prompted us to create a new website where you can ask us anything you like and we promise to answer it as best as we can.

Since adding fruit bags onto our menu back in 2003 we've always tried hard to look at new and fun ways to improve the choice of fruit and vegetables on our menu that are popular with children and parents alike. Tropicana orange juice and carrot sticks are now on the menu, and we're also testing bags of pear slices with grapes, and cucumber sticks, as part of this Happy Meal trial.

As well as food quality we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and will keep looking at ways we can change our business for the better. Did you know for example that we now serve organic milk in our restaurants, as well as Hoki caught in Marine Stewardship Council certified waters and Rainforest Alliance Coffee? We have even teamed up with Greenpeace recently to prevent rainforest clearing in the Amazon. All these things are true and yet as I've said, it takes time to get the message across.

Having said all this, back to the innocent trial. At the end of the day, our customers will decide on whether this is a good idea.

We're glad you like Pret sandwiches, we work with them and love them too. Thanks for your 'oh boy' post, it made us think so much, we've added it to our blog too. Keep up the great work Innocent.

9% of your customers think you shouldnt be dealing with mcdonalds

those 9% are passionate people who no doubt championed your brand

they will now passionately demonise your brand

you should pull out of this partnership no matter how much money is involved

as for you mr mcdonalds ... you make your partnerships with the likes of greenpeace sounds positive ... the reality is greenpeace CAUGHT YOU TRASHING THE AMAZON RAINFOREST to feed the chickens for your mcnuggets!

you say your customers will decide ... of course they will ... they eat your junk already, so they are hardly going to object to an innocent smoothie ... if i were innocent, i'd be more worried about what their customers are going to decide

mr mcdonalds ... you could shut the doors of all your junk stores and the world would sing ... you wouldnt be missed and the planet would be far better off

mr innocent ... the jury is definitely out ... you are good at PR, so it should be a fine battle

i am one of the 9% ... you've lost me and i will be passionately spreading the word that you've sold out

here here Pete.

it seems to me that macdonalds will be the ones to gain here so they can further deflect attention from their junk food by saying 'but look, we now sell Innocent'. it's great pr for them but i think might end being bad for you smoothie types.

Innocent is an expensive drink and i think the middle class kids that can afford to buy it in Mcd's would more than likely be getting it at home too along with a much better diet than the low-income kids for whome Mc'ds is a more regular cheap food option.

don't do it
stay innocent

Good luck guys and don't take the crappy stuff personally, lots of us love you but won't be as vociferous as the people who complain unfortunately. See how it goes and let us know what you decide after the trial. :)

PS I agree that people need to start looking at all parts of their consumer habits rather than just a small part of it - if Innocent are to grow then they need to be stocked in a wide variety of places - and if you don't like those places then don't buy from them! Innocent are not part of McD's or vice versa - it's a business transaction like the ones done with the rest of the places that stock Innocent.


you miss the point

we wont be buying innocent from anywhere anymore

word of mouth travels fastest

If it gets just one more child to drink a healthy drink then to me it's a great idea.

Supermarkets are hardly the most ethical of places, yet no-one has a problem with smootyhies being sold in them. Supermarkets which place kids products (like sweets and sugary foods) at kids eye level to increase pester power. How is that ethical and healthy. They sell all sorts of celebrity and character endorsed products which are full of sugar, heck, they even sell bags of pure sugar!

McDonald's is what it is, and is trying to better itself. Good Luck to them, and to you Innocent.

i love your drinks and really appricate what you're trying to do, but i honestly don't think coupling with a large faceless company, that is partly responsible for child obesity will do much for your beloved reputation. it's not the way forward and hope it stays as just a trail.... love u lots x

I don't agree with this figure of 9% being bandied about of customers who don't want you to link up with McDonalds. That is 9 per cent of the people you surveyed- not 9% of the British population.
I wasn't surveyed, neither was any of my friends or family- all of whom object. You are deceiving yourselves if you truly believe there is so little resistance.
Also to hear Mr MacDonald describe his corporation as open and honest is frankly laughable.

I'm 12 years old and I've been to McDonalds once for a party and the food was greasy and horrible and the premises was manky.
Innocent smoothies were fantastic and me and my brothers always used to love having them for a breakfast and reading the cartons. I'm really ticked off that Innocent would team up with such a crappy fast-food chain.By doing this I reckon you'll lose loads of customers and I don't want to support you anymore by drinking your smoothies.

You were supposed to be a healthy company.By teaming up with MacDonalds,selling that McRubbish,you're not helping Britains rising obesity rates.

I am just writing to comment that i can't believe you have decided to trial your smoothies in some mcdonalds. i also can't believe you spent ages debating this. has somebody senior in your company entirely lost their marbles?? You can tell yourself as many times as you like that you are doing this for altrustic reasons to get kids to eat more fruit but do you really believe that? seriously?!! you truly are only kidding yourselves here. you can already buy bloomin fruit in mcdonalds anyway - there is no way this will lead to an increase in overall long term fruit uptake amongst these children. All that has happened here is a company such as mcdonalds which has one of the worst PR records in history is using your previously excellent image to make themselves look good. you are being used. I admire your honesty for admitting you did it to make money as that is simply the only truthful bit of this. I work in public health with a remit for both childhood obesity and dental health both of which are at unprecedented levels. I had been a huge fan of your company and frequently recommended your products. I will never do so again. I have to say innocent working with mcdonalds is one of the most suprising and utterly disappointing commercial moves i have ever come across. what a massive let down.

Oh man, you really should have stopped the McD's guy posting (but kudos for not censoring him). The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist...

So many of the comments from those who think its wrong are so bloody holier than thou. Haven't any of you ever made an iffy decision before?

I couldn't imagine being one of your friends. One wrong move and you wouldn't see you for dust. Fair weather friends. Nice...

Are the vocal complainers here actually thinking about what has happened (rather than what they assume has happened) and is there any need to be so vitriolic and nasty?

There seems to be some ignorance, lazy-thinking and theology in this debate. Admittedly this fits the rhetoric of our age that there is "good" and "evil" and "you're with us or against us" but I'm saddened that this means a lack of rational thinking about the reasons behind things.

Those people that think that innocent was (or is) perfect are as un-thinking as the people that think that McDonalds is the devil-incarnate.

I like innocent because they make good honest products, have a cheesy sense of humour and they at least appear to strive to be better for society (at least in the fruit-drink related parts of it) than many other companies out there.

Anything you do to turn McD's from the "Dark Side" can surely be only a good thing.
May the McForce be with you!

i've had a quick read, and there's some good points raised.

yes, it may taint innocent's reputation to start associating with mcdonalds, but are they completely changing their ways? no.

if they were they wouldn't be as open about their business with their customers as they are right now. this is a sign of good practice, not a god given right.

and yeah, innocent smoothies and waters have been selling in starbucks and tescos for a long time now, they may not be as bad as mcDs (which, by the way, at the age of 17 I refuse to eat in, along with any other 'fast-food' chain, organic and fairtrade for me thank you very much) but they are still bad. has that made innocent bad in your eyes yet? no it hasn't. otherwise you wouldn't be on this blog posting your views.

i think the few cynics who want innocent to remain the holy smoothie company and never associate with big brands are utterly naive, expansion is needed, and putting something good into a bad company is a good thing. if mcdonalds sold their products through innocent, that would be different matter entirely.

moral panic over children, no-one's forcing you to buy your smoothies from mcDs.

McDonald's is inevitably moving towards the healthy direction - you made the right decision, doubt not.

i think this is perhaps a mistake... the mcdonalds image is awful - i will never touch one of their burgers. I love your image and all you stand for so am most disappointed you would choose them as a partner? the thought i have is that you want to go global... fair enough

Those who react negatively to this brave move should ask themselves - how is McDonalds meant to change its business practices if ethical companies won't work with it to effect that change? It boils down to berating them for not selling healthy food but then refusing to supply them with any fruit or vegetables.

McD has clearly realised its business has to change in order to survive. This is one small step. Let's keep on telling them that we're unhappy about the rainforest and the salt content etc, but also applaud innocent for having the bravery to make fruit available to kids who often aren't offered many choices in life.

Gut instinct - NOOOO! Don't do it! Innocent are a fantastic company, the type of company we need more of. I can't believe you're getting involved with the devil!
You're great at talking to your customers and my favourite bit is the smoothie packaging... I always look out for new tales about strawberries or trumpets!
I really hope it goes well though, good luck innocent!

the not-so-innocent festival

is muesli bad for you?

do innocent profile the different people that buy innocent drinks?

the way some people think, you'd reckon that it was not right for some fat guy, that eats pounds of stake for breakfast, and whips his kids at night, to drink innocent drinks.

who cares who drinks it, and who cares who sells it!

people, c'mon. wake up. the drinks will sell to whoever wants to buy it, and the way i see it, should be sold out of whatever establishment wants to sell it.

The people complaining obviously give 10% of their savable income to charity, only eat homegrown tomatoes, walk or ride bicycles only, and wear fully biodegradable underwear!

I mean...please....are they that perfect?

Ok I admit to not having read all of the comments above, so I apologise if this is more of the same.

I can't critise an ethical company for wanting to help an unhealthy food company offer healthier options.

I just hope that the benefits are more than just financial and that the Innocent brand doesn't suffer too much as a result. McDonalds will surely gain alot.

People need to hear the reasons for moving forward with this, because most won't take the time to read the blog. It will be in McDonald's interests too (I for one was pleasantly surprised to hear about Greenpeace's endorsement).

Maybe you need some special edition labels or other innocent-esque explanation?

If McDonald's wants to empower its customers (and more importantly, its customers' children) to choose a healthier drink, and if it wants to do so by stocking a product from an ethically-grounded company like Innocent, shouldn't we be applauding this?

Doesn't it prove that even the most intransigent multinational companies are starting to take heed of the growing tide of public opinion in favour of businesses such as Innocent?

Isn't it an indication that McD's are starting to get the message about the questionable nutritional value of its fare and indeed, are starting to do something about it?

It seems to me that this bruhaha is merely a perverted form of health-food snobbery. Most of the enraged posts on this topic come from the fruit-drink bourgeoisie who, sat up there in their ethical ivory towers, simply can't stomach the fact that a product which was previously only available to them from the over-priced eco-deli down the road, is now available to the proletariat via a fast-food outlet.

Get over yourselves and start seeing this for what it is: a victory for ethical, healthy products like Innocent Smoothies.

I understand the reasoning of the company to make this move, but it's hard to imagine any good coming of it. The atmosphere of McDs in the UK is so relentlessly downbeat that I think most of the clientele will view the healthy-looking, brightly coloured bottles with instinctive mistrust. They're used to sugary, artificial flavours that corrode the teeth and gums and cause brain damage. That is why they eat what they eat. People who care about what they eat don't eat at McDonalds, they eat elsewhere. Most of the people who eat regularly at McDonalds are the weak, the poor and the paroled.

My only problem with the idea of putting innocent smoothies in McD's is that some people may see having a pure fruit smoothie as justification for their otherwise unhealthy meal. A portion of fruit is great, but it doesn't negate the high saturated fats and salt content of the rest of the meal.

The discussions on this blog and on Dan Germain's blog have been fascinating.
Couple of thoughts to add to the debate:
- The fact that we are all having this conversation together online is a great example of Radical Transparency in action. The idea of brands being open to talking and debating their actions with their consumers is something to be lauded.
- If the mission of Innocent is to spread healthy drinking throughout society rather than just to the Middle Classes a partnership with a brand like McDonalds actually makes sense even though it may feel like "sleeping with the enemy" according to one poster, maybe you change the "enemy" from the inside out?
I posted about this over the weekend and have included thoughts from Richard Reid about the conversations that Innocent had with Greenpeace before they went ahead with the trial. It was this fact that seems to give Innocent the benefit of the doubt. It's just hard because it's an alliance between one of Britain's best loved and most loathed brands.

What a tough call. As is clearly seen here Mc D's is a very emotive subject.

I am on your list of 'regular' drinkers email list etc and I don't recall being invited to complete a questionaire on the subject. First I heard was on Radio 4 this evening!

Having said that I think it's probably a good idea on balance but with a couple of caveats:

Stick with your aims and don't let the huge conglomerate dictate the terms. They need you far far more than you need them.

Use your relationship to encourage further their 'efforts' to clean up their act.

Good luck and don't sell out!

Get a grip!

As others have pointed out, this is just a trial in a part of the UK. Surely anything to encourage kids - and adults - to eat/drink more fruit is a good thing? Innocent are still doing great work, and giving money to charity, and caring about the environment - I don't think they are selling out.

Keep up the good work, guys! You are an inspiration!

For those of you who don't know, there's a fab book about the story of Innocent - Great Brand Stories: Innocent, by John Simmons.

I get cravings for a big mac probably about once a year...I always regret it....!
I eat a normal healthy diet otherwise, and I buy some of my food from Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison's et al. All supermarkets try to screw their suppliers to the wall on terms & conditions of supply. Does this mean I have to stop eating? Does it stop you guys from buying your Innocent smoothies from them? Get real people, we live in a consumer society. If you have pots of money ( I don't)you can afford to buy 'ethical' all the time, otherwise you're like me and have to do the best you can buying carefully to do the least damage. Bravo to Innocent for the trial run at McD's, why not change attitudes from the inside.
I hope this makes Innocent pots more money from which you can deduct the 10% towards your charities.

Good luck Innocent

PS I will NOT be pouring my smoothie down the sink, it's much better being poured down my throat. :-)

totally agree with some of latest comments - bruce, edward, amelia - as opposed to some of the earlier anti-McD rants on this thread

I don't have to go to McD any more (lucky me) but I hope and I wish they would improve their act and this might help

I heard RR on pm on R4 and I was persuaded by his passion and his commitment - he/innocent are on a mission and good luck to them (also noticed he has a slightly strange accent which I couldn't place!)

but I've decided that I will buy DOUBLE the amount of innocent smoothies I normally do (approx 2 per week) for as long as the trial at McD goes ahead, to make up for some of the people who said they will stop buying innocent (bet they don't, anyway...)

I don't think there's anything wrong in principal with Innocent selling their smoothies in Mcdonalds, all business has to grow, and as people have said before this is an opportunity for kids whose parents are stupid enough to feed them Mcd's everyday to get some more fruit, which is no bad thing.

I think the fault is more on the part of Mcdonalds. I very much doubt they are stocking the smoothies for anything other than monetary gain, the same as any of their other "healthy foods". It's 'of the time' to be health/food concious and more aware of what you eat, there is no way Mcdonalds have suddenly developed scruples, it's sheer business acumen.

That's my two pence worth anyway!

Big MAC Money Kulture Feeding the Corporate VULTURE!!!
I cannot possibly see how Innocent Can Become Associated with the BigMc! - Wrong!
Two opposing forces here.

If BigMc wants to jump the "ethical" bandwagon - they should invest in smaller businesses who fit the bill.

Sorry, but Innocent can stand on it's own two feet!

Sounds like corporate Railroading - so some Tit in a suit can line his pockets.

Do it and I will be dropping Innocent from my shopping list.

Whirled Peas!

If McDonalds has evil practises it's only because it is serving the demands of the society it is part of. McDonalds only do what's good for business, so if society creates a demand for wholesome, fairly traded (etc) food, McDonalds will start supplying it, too.

If McDonalds only make a token gesture towards "good" food, it's because that's all that society demands from it.
It's our jobs as consumers to demand "good" food from those who are in a position to supply it.

I think Innocent have a very positive business model in terms of morality and accountability. It's possible to maintain a higher level of integrity while doing business with companies who may have a lower level of integrity. It does serve as a positive example to them. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

It's difficult, but maintaining integrity is a personal matter, even when you run a business. How it appears to others is largely irrelevant. You have to do what you think is best, according to the aims of your business.

I think go right for it, Innocent. It's often easier to instigate change from within.

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