Thanks to everyone who has posted their thoughts in the last 24 hours or so. We've benefited from reading them all, both good and bad. To be honest, it's a pretty similar debate to the one we had here at Fruit Towers over the last few months, when we were making the decision whether or not to trial our drinks in McDonalds.
And at this point, I guess we should reiterate that this is what it is - a trial, of our kids smoothies, in some McDonalds branches, in one specific region of the UK. We haven't sold our company to them (and nor are we going to), just our smoothies.
Secondly, the other thing that is not up for grabs is our approach to business, which in a nutshell is – make the best tasting drinks possible; keep them 100% healthy and natural; procure the ingredients responsibly; make environmentally-conscious packaging choices(the world's first 100% recycled PET bottle is on its way, ETA June); measure, share and reduce carbon (on track for 15% reduction this year); and give a minimum of 10% of all profits to charity to fund rural development projects in the countries where the fruit comes from. Trialling our kids smoothies in McD's doesn't change any of that. It does gives us the opportunity to sell more smoothies, which is obviously important to us. And it does give kids in McDs the opportunity to have a portion of fruit instead of a fizzy cola. We see that as a good thing, not bad.
Thirdly, I know some people are upset about us doing this. Obviously we would never want that. Our whole business is only possible because of the fantastic support from our drinkers, and I am gutted to lose and upset even a single one. We didn’t make this decision lightly. We even polled our regular drinkers a few weeks ago to ask them about it, and 72% said they would actively like us to be in McD’s, 17% said they didn’t care, and 9% said we shouldn’t be there. We simply wouldn’t have done it if the opposite had been true.
What it comes down to is this – we will never change our principles or the way we do business for anyone – McDonalds or anyone else. We will continue to try to tread lightly as a company, we will continue to keep things natural, we will continue to support rural development in impoverished countries, and we will continue to get fruit into people’s hands/mouths wherever and whenever we can. Currently more than 90% of kids in the UK fail to get their recommended daily intake of fruit. Our smoothies in McDonalds give kids the opportunity to get some more fruit on board. We think this is good for our business, and we think this is good for our drinkers. We never would have done it if we didn't think both.
Thanks for all of your comments. Please keep posting them, good or bad.
PS we aren’t owned by anyone else – we’re still an independent company, owned by the people who started innocent in 1999. And we don’t make drinks for Prêt A Manger, although we do like their sandwiches