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April 07, 2009

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Another sad day for ethical business reminiscent of the Body Shop and L'Oreal announcement or Pret and McDonalds. Understandably they were struggling in the current economic climate but surely there were other options...? There is one defining reason people buy these products and that reason expires the minute a partnership like this is announced regardless of the reasons for it. I'm deeply disappointed.

Dear Dan & Ted,
Our Facebook group has now removed or obscured the words that I assume you were referring to.

The group aims to encourage innocent to reconsider the decision to become part owned by Coca-Cola and to return to the sound ethical principles that we knew and loved about innocent.

I work for the second largest coca-cola bottling plant in the world in Downey, California. If people would really do their research. They would find that coca-cola and their bottlers are making huge and positive changes in the world. At a personal cost of billions of dollars. That they don't have to be spending, IE largest world wide fleet of hybrid delivery trucks. World's largest bottle to bottle recycling plant. Using less water and PET, energy , recharging aquifers & replanting forests. One of the last industries in the USA. That has no been out sourced to a third world. American bottlers earn a living wage and good benefits. Would someone please do their research. Please bring forth truth and sanity. Quit the mob mentality. This is a global company. They are using their size and profits to effect real positive global change in the world. I personally know that huge numbers of our population and our planet are better off today than if there was no Coca-Cola. Please, would someone research and spread the word about this. Not just the angry squeaky wheels.

I work for the second largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world in Downey, California. If people would really do their research. They would find that Coca-Cola and their bottlers are making huge and positive changes in the world. At a personal cost of billions of dollars. That they don't have to be spending, IE largest world wide fleet of hybrid delivery trucks. World's largest bottle to bottle recycling plant. Using less water and PET, energy , recharging aquifers & replanting forests. One of the last industries in the USA. That has not been out sourced. American bottlers earn a living wage and good benefits. Would someone please do their research. Please bring forth truth and sanity. Quit the mob mentality. This is a global company. They are using their global size and global profits to effect real positive global change in the world. I personally know that members of our population and our planet are better off today than if there was no Coca-cola. Please, would someone research and spread the word about this. Not just the angry squeaky wheels.

I felt sick while reading about this. I wont be buying innocent any more and i usually buy a lot!! also where is this assumption coming from that we all buy from tesco. i buy my weekly shop from my local natural and organic grocery store which i will be informing them and the other customers that innocent no longer fits the criteia for their shop. well done 'innocent' you took blood money.

Dear Richard,

I was very disappointed to read about your deal with Coca Cola!

Basically, you've sold your soul to the devil and it will go downhill from here. Do you really believe you'll withstand the pressure of a huge concern as Coca Cola? Once you've offered them your little finger they will slowly but surely eat you up entirely (not just your arm!). You will be swallowed whole in no time!

I actually believe that you have the best intentions to stand to your principles and that you actually do want to, in your words 'in some small ways we may be able to influence their thinking'.

It's entirely unrealistic. These people eat people like you for breakfast!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling you stupid, naive or anything the like. After all you must have a good idea about business dealings after being around for 10 years. But the people behind the Coca Cola company are ruthless and the only thing that matters to a company as such is cash.

Yes, their product is successful. It's also full of sugar, and some of the worst ingredients you can think of. It's probably one of the unhealthiest food stuff around. And it's been around for such a long time that nobody can imagine a world without it. They even invented Father Christmas as we know him today! That's why they can get away with murder (as a manner of speaking....however, there is people arguing that you could use the phrase literally as well but I don't know enough about it to make such a claim.). Because it doesn't matter how much bad press they going to get, people will still buy their product.

Now your product is different! And it is successful! For all the right reasons: Great ingredients, inspiring marketing strategy and sound ethical principles! You also managed to fill a huge market gap to a growing consumer group who had enough of big companies who make billions but treat people (including their staff, suppliers and customers) only as a source of money! The reason why people like myself are happy to spend a bit more on your product is not just the brilliant product. It's also the faith they have in your company. Or should I say, had!

There is already other companies out there copying your approach. And you are now loosing the faith of many loyal customers. They might just consider the product in the shelf next to yours for exactly this reason.

innocent and Coca Cola shouldn't be dealing with each other for so many reasons!

The biggest reason for me is that when I stand in front of a shelf of drinks I want to be able to pick a real alternative to that bottle of Coke to go. I don't only want to do something for my health when I pick that innocent smoothie! I want to feel a bit better about the world for choosing it! Because I want to believe it's not all about cash! (I know, it's getting a bit cheesy but I actually think this is not just how I feel but a big percentage of your customers)

Please reconsider! Keep growing slowly but steadily without the Coca Cola investment. You've been doing well so far, you don't need them! Of course it would give you a push but in the long term you'll be better of staying independent...or with a partner with similar business ideals then your own.

Regards,
Sara -one loyal smoothie drinker and new pot eater

I just keep coming back to the same thing - by letting Coke buy a part of you you are endorsing all of their business practices. Regardless of how far you try to remain ethical, you have somehow accepted that it is okay that they are not.

I've followed innocent since the very early days, passionately. I'm sad to say you've lost another valued customer.

Coca-Cola is becoming the single most positive influence in the world. To curtail global warming. Increasing recycling. Recharging aquifers, replanting forests. Breast cancer research,saving Polar Bears. Helping communities with school funds. The list is endless.

Alexander Vien IV - are you trying to be funny?

Featuring Polar Bears in their Christmas advertising does not count as saving them.

When Coca-Cola start the worldwide Diabetes Research Fund, I might think about listening.

Paul

Thanks for cleaning up that facebook page. As you'll know from reading through all of the comments on this thread, we're happy for people to link to external sites, whether they be positive or negative about us or Coke, but we have a policy of not linking to anything with foul language or unnecessary/unreasonable abuse. We make smoothies for kids, so plenty of kids use the site, and we try to keep things clean as much as is possible considering the interconnectedness of the web.

Thanks

Dan

:(
Body Shop, Neal's Yard Remedies, Green & Blacks and now Innocent. You all sell out in the end and then try to justify it... so much for the brave new world...no more innocent drinks for me.....

Loved your smoothies and really believed in your innocence. This is now gone.
I thought you are marketing experts but this was a terrible mistake. Why???
Won't buy your stuff any more and will spread the word.

This is just one of many sites that shows what I am saying is accurate and people need to do their research.
http://polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com/polarbearsupportfund/index.jsp

Here you go UNIMPRESSED FACE:
Coca-Cola has sponsored and supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund
http://www.jdrf.org/files/chapters_and_affiliates/central_florida_chapter_/2006TeeUptoCureDiabetesGolfTournament.pdf


http://www.antonnews.com/greatneckrecord/2007/07/27/sports/jdwalk.html

To UNIMPRESSED FACE: More food for thought.


http://polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com/polarbearsupportfund/take_action/index.jsp

http://polarbears.thecoca-colacompany.com/polarbearsupportfund/our_commitment/index.jsp


More food for thought:http://www.cokecorporateresponsibility.co.uk/carbontrust/reducing-our-carbon-footprint.html

Am disappointed, as are so many others.
Have unsubscribed from your emails and wish you all well, but there's a significant difference to innocent now - and lots of us don't like it.
Shame on you.

How can Innocent claim to be ethical when they are selling shares to one of the most unethical companies in the world.

I work for a trade union who have been campaigning against Coca Cola since July 2003 in response to the company's activities in Colombia and India.

Coca-Cola stand accused of hiring paramilitary groups to assassinate trade unionists and intimidating, kidnapping and imprisoning hundreds more of their own workers and their families.

Sinaltrainal, the Colombian Food and Drink Workers' Union, has called for an international boycott of Coca-Cola and all its products.

The campaign is supported by Colombia's two main trade union federations - the CUT and the CGTD - and by the World Social Forum.

For more information about the struggles in Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia see the Killer Coke website.

Communities in India have also joined the campaign in protest at Coca-Cola's business practices that they claim have caused extensive water shortages & pollution.

Coca-Cola products in India contain 30 times as much pesticide as allowed in the European Union.

You can find out more about Coca-Cola's activites in India on the India Resource Center website.

As Innocent have now placed themselves under the umbrella of Coca Cola this boycott of Coca Cola products will now extend to Innocent drinks.

Well done guys - I hope your business model can sustain the drop in sales/profits that Innocent products will see over the next year as a result of selling your soul to the devil.

It's like a vegan health store selling a part share to KFC, and then claiming the same commitment to animal welfare...

Bad move, Innocent.

When Richard spoke at Warwick University last year, he stated that Innocent aimed to prove that big business needn't be bad business. What went wrong?

I have been boycotting all Coca Cola products for nearly five years (see www.killercoke.org) and will not be making an exception for you.

Furthermore, I find it thoroughly disingenuous of Adam, Jon and Richard not to acknowledge Coca Cola's disgraceful ethical record in their letter - were they hoping we wouldn't notice?

Sorry, not good enough. Goodbye.

I've said it all here - I was right to walk out on Richard Reed in November 2007, and I wouldn't even enter the room now:

http://thesietch.org/mysietch/keith/2009/04/12/innocent-drinks-a-very-predictable-sell-out/

disappointing. I am sure it makes business sense, but did you consider asking your customers for feedback before you sold the share? judging by the comments here, it would have been a good idea as the backlash to the loss of 'Innocence' seems to be potentially large.

To help anyone kicking the not-so-Innocent habit, Morrisons now stocking an alternative Pomegranate, Blueberry and Acia smoothie for just £1.39 for a big carton. Little sweeter than Innocent, but perfectly tasty (especially at that price) and majority of ingredients are not-from-concentrate. Even has a fraction more fibre and a tiny amount less fat and carbs than Innocent. Doesn't claim to be ethical, but then again, who can you trust these days? ;)

You just lost another customer for all the reasons put some wonderfully by other posters.

Stop this now. Give the money back - if you can!

Total sell out - Im so upset.

What about other investors - Co Op Bank for one thing?

Youve just lost another customer.

This news saddens me greatly. I boycotted Coke and its related products long ago for so many reasons. Now you've sold out to the worst possible company I'm forced to give up the one item left on our supermarket shelves that gave me some hope that the small time people can make it... and keep me healthy. So long Innocent ... it was fun while it lasted :(

Still very disappointed and like many posting here and on facebook my brand loyalty to Innocent for the reasons of it's fruit and independence regardless of the "minority stake" from Coca Cola, everything Coca Cola does is despicable and I will not be supplying my hard worked for money to their shareholders whether they are hands off or not. Shame loved the drinks.

http://artofconversation.typepad.com/
I think I am in a minority here, but I am cautiously optimistic and in favour of the deal IF it means innocent do continue with their 'mission'. Why does ethical have to mean small-scale? Surely innocent is in business and so must play the business game, but that does not mean compromising on principles. From the comments here, plenty of people are hurt or disappointed but there are also some quiet little supportive posts. Keep up the good work, PLEASE, still-innocent people ...

Hello Innocent...

Well as one of your employees knows already from a little Honduras trip I took not to long ago...i trully do LOVE innocent (in particular your little knitted hats - genious)...anyhow to the point...I know how hard you guys work etc, so I'm sure this was no easy decision to make...OK so people are saying their bit now but that will pass...people seem very concentrated on the effect coke will have on innocent, but not on the effect innocent will have on coke...I don't think this will be a one way thing at any rate...

Anyway to say the least...I still love innocent...always have, always will do...keep it up!

Tess

i think that innocent won't be the same again.

I won't buy smoothies again, or the orange juice. Instead
i'll buy tropicana (it's 20p more but more innocent now.)


coke has got e numbers in it and innocent were against all this.

you have lost your own identity forever, innocent - and a customer!

The truth is out there about Coca Cola. Just to go www.markthomasinfo.com/. I presume you will be changing the web page to "our former ethics". You are in denial on this.

I am so shocked at this. I will not be buying your products again.

I hope that you are paying attention to how many people are stating this, and will feel this loss. I have avoided Coke for most of my life, and it sickens me when they are able to reach areas such as innocent. innocent no longer.

I would like to say that Innocent Smoothies are fantastic. But there is no way i can buy any more now that coca-cola has a share of the company. I will be boycotting the Innocent until this deal is reversed, and should that day never come, then I'll never buy another one. An ethical company should never sell out to a multi-national, and Coca-Cola is one of the worste out there, so PLEASE, do all you can to reverse this poorly conceived decision

Many readers here might have particularly liked Innocent because of the charity angle. It always gives you a warm feeling to think some of the money you spend is going to a good cause.

With some of the money Innocent make now going to a very bad cause, many might be considering the only real option open to a consumer - boycotting the product.

However, some may be feeling a bit conflicted because other smoothies don't donate to charity.

Here's the simple answer. Buy an alternative smoothie. Chances are it will cost half as much as an Innocent.

Innocent used to donate 10 per cent of its PROFIT to charity. I don't know the exact figure for how much profit it made per item, but I've seen estimates of profit as low as 5p or 10p per bottle, which would mean between quarter and half a pence donated to charity. Let's imagine a crazy world where they make a £1 profit per bottle sold. That would mean 5p to charity per bottle.

So, buy your alternative and out of the money you save by not paying Innocent prices, donate at least 5p to charity (why not be more generous than Innocent and go up to a whole 10p?!). You can either do this by putting it straight into the collection tin most supermarkets have at the checkouts, or jangled by collectors at the door. Or you can save it up in a jar over the months and make one big donation every few months.

If you're worried about your alternative smoothies not having the sustainable/ethical credentials Innocent claim for theirs - just make your donation to a Fair Trade or ethical growers charity/organisation.

So boycott Innocent, save money for yourself, still give (probably more) to charity and still have your smoothie and drink it!

I am guessing that a lot of the employees of Innocent, some of whom working for decidedly un-innocent wages, would not have chosen to work for Coke, but are now in the compromising position of being apologists for a decision they didn't make. I'm sure they have been given the company line to regurgitate, no doubt in a Monday Morning Meeting full of the usual rhetoric, but on the back of the recent redundancies (where employees had to compete against friends and colleagues for their own job, how innocent) I don't imagine many of them are going to feel they can rock the boat and speak against the cult, I mean company, line.

What's scary is that founders really do believe their own hype. It's a case of the Emperor's New Clothes - they think this is a good thing and that Innocent can tame Coke and that their plan for world domination is somehow driven by altruism... everyone else can see this is about good old fashioned capitalist greed.
The arrogance is vulgar and couldn't be less in touch with their 'fanbase'.

I write as someone who is married to an Innocent employee - who has been made to feel quite unhappy by the lack of Innocence she has experienced as an employee in Fruit Towers. I shall not be leaving my real name, as I don't really trust the Innocent management machine.

Please don't buy any more innocent products, do not condone this decision, it is patronising and dishonest.

Apologies - maths never my strong point. Post above should read 10p to charity if Innocent make £1 profit a bottle! (and double all the other pence references!)

I have always supported Innocent, because I thought you were a fine example of how you can be successful in a multi-national market, without having to indulge in the negative practices that large corporations decide to. But now that has all changed. I understand that you think you are doing the right thing any business would want to increase their success, but I thought innocent were able to do it without the "The Man", I was wrong.
I can not convey in this small space how utterly heartbroken I was to hear the news. I believed that you guys held the same ethics as myself and were able to run a hugely successful business without relenting on them. However, it turns out you just like all the others. I will no longer buy Innocent, I can't possibly purchase a product knowing that in doing so I would be supporting corporate globalisation.
I am truly saddened by your decision and hope that you can continue to trade ethically and fairly. But none of it will mean anything, will it – because Coke don’t share your views on social matters and 10% of your profits will got to them. It’s such a contradiction, I can hardly bare it.

Peace.

In the past I have held Innocent Drinks in the highest esteem as an ethical business. However, after reading your letter about the new minority investors (Coca-Cola) I am disapointed.

I understand that you need financial backing for your European expansion and that you want a stakeholder that "can help get products out to more people in more places." I understand that Coca-Cola is the kind of multinational that can help you do this but they are not the only one around.

Another reason you give for choosing Coke is that "they have been in business for over 120 years" so you hope you can learn from them. If you really felt that you could learn from them I am sure you could have gone to the library and read about their rise to success.

Although Coca-Cola may have been the company that stood out in terms of funding and business experience, might it not have been worth compromising on these things and going for a more ethical stakeholder ? In your letter you state your ethics as being "to only produce natural, healthy stuff; to push hard for better quality, more socially and environmentally conscious ingredients; to find more efficient and environmentally friendly ways of producing and packaging our drinks; to support charities in the countries where our fruit comes from." Coca-Cola share none of these ethics.

I was happy to buy your smoothies in the past because you were true to your ethics and made the world a better place. In selling a 10-20% stake to Coca-Cola you have compromised on your ethics. I am disappointed because I feel that now, if I buy an Innocent Smoothie I will have to compromise on my ethics. too.

Im perfectly sure that it is a very solid business decision based on sound commercial advice. Im also perfectly sure that 'your message' is now dead. Im not surprised, just sad!

Guess your ethics statement sounds a bit like a Miss World contestant after all.

So long and thanks for all the fruit.

It just seems a shame :(

Honestly guys who the heck was advising you? Coke? Of all the companies on the entire planet you chose Coke? With their reputation and history! Most of how I feel and want to say has already been said on this message board. I just can't beleive that you did not consider a bond issue to your, once loyal, customer base. I would have invested. If only you had asked. What on earth were you thinking? Yes Innocent Smoothies taste good but how can I continue buying them knowing you are associated with Coke? Answer me that.Is this years Inncoent Christmas present going to be a can of Coke?
Don't bother with the Fete.

Hi there,

I feel duped and incredibly disappointed. Like many of your other writers, I have championed Innocent as a company who's ethics and morals reflect mine and that are difficult to come by in a World where greed and money supersede sustainability and human rights. That said, Innocent marketed their products brilliantly. I did not look too far in to their dealings or practices, believing instead in their image and giving them more credence than it appears they were deserving. This has come as a shock and dissapointment. I do not consider myself a 'hippy' or 'tree-hugger'as infered by some other bloggers but do like to try and make decisions regarding how I approach the world and how my actions will impact on others. I believed in Innocent and that this was their approach too.
The investment by Coca-Cola, a hulking, profit-driven, multinational corporation, will undoubtedly bolster the expansion of Innocent and this appears to be the outcome that Innocent desired. Congratulations. It is a shame that there are so many supporters of the brand who have been taken along for the ride. It appears that expansion and increased profits are truly the ideals of Innocent, the apparent reasoning of 'spreading the word' of fair-trade and ethical practices that has been used is farsical.
This has been a big mistake.
I have written to Innocent before, stating how much I like their company and their products. I am on their mailing list and received information about attending their AGM or taking part in product tasting this year. This move illustrates that Innocent do not listen to their customers and the only sound they really hear is that of money filling up their accounts. Granted, every company aims to make money, but Innocent was apparently established to make money fairly and in an ethical manner and was branded as such. This is a betrayal of all those who have supported Innocent and helped make it what it had been up until this deal was brokered. I feel a change of name and marketing is required, perhaps "Gotcha".

So sad. I imagine this is exactly how a cheated spouse feels. You have lost me as a fan.

minus one lovemark :(

In my comprehensive study of 6 people who were permanently glugging innocent products, none of them now buy your stuff! There are plenty of equivalent products on the market that are not pretending to be something they are not. The sad thing is coca cola will still be drunk by the gallon load. Innocent smoothies, alas, will not.

Absolute disbelief that Innocent has sold its soul... So very sad.

I truely believe that although you may attain the global recognition you so desire, in a world full of consumers that really don't give a monkeys, you will all lose sleep at night over this.

So long Innocent...

You have lost your innocence, and my custom.

Leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The green marketing machine at Coke is making overhours. Bying springs and other water sources to safeguard their business and wash it green in innocence.

Trade Unionists have been assasinated in Coca Cola bottling plants in Colombia. That is an example of the kind of pressure that Coke exerts to ensure that it gets its way in developing countries. I assume that is that the type of support that Innocent is looking for to help it expand? I no longer have any respect for your brand. Not only will I not be buying any of your products, I will be doing my utmost to discredit your brand far and wide, including, if possible, a protest at your forthcoming "village fete". How can you possibly now market yourselves as "innocent" with any ounce of integrity?

Dear All,

I am someone who did like to go along with the story that they created. I went to the AGM, and to the Village Fete (despite having food poisoning) and so, yes, I am a little disappointed by the news that they went with Coca-Cola as a minority investor, and quit the story so soon. At least it wasn't Nestlé, Muller or Birds Angel Delight (another not so innocent brand with its hydrogenated vegetable oil ingredients) all of which were, to my mind, worse companies in the ethics stakes.

[QUOTE]Innocent were a marketing company... they [have] been much more interested in selling juices than making them. [/UNQUOTE]

From a business point of view, I worked in Retail Design, and my boss was always saying that Innocent is a Brand Marketing company, and a very successful one. And he's right.

Cracking a new market like the whole of Europe is certainly going to be difficult and cutting costs with distribution is a key factor. One must grow to become successful, and big is a requisite to floatation or sale and nice early retirement. This is something I wouldn’t mind myself.

Plus they have had some real hammering from Pepsi lately pushing their Tropicana brand big time on the adverts. So they need a cash injection. I must admit I'm surprised they've played this hand so quick, and with Coke, but it would've happened at some point soon.

I think that unfortunately things have to be done in the way that the world does them for a company to survive, which isn't a happy innocent way, and 20% not so good is sometimes better than 75% unknown. Perhaps Coke will go into recycled bottles and more healthy ingredients in the future.

I'm not going to stop buying the Innocent smoothies (Still yet to get hold of a Veg Pot). Tropicana (Pepsi) is the only other similar tasting brand so no difference there, and it's not like Coke owns Innocent yet. It took Cadbury a while to take over Green & Blacks.

For those who say that they are not disillusioned and will never by Innocent products again, the may I point out that the Due Diligence would have had a balance of customers lost versus those gained. Trust me. Having worked in Second Life under the quasi-nonsensical corporate heavy-handling of it’s owner Linden Labs we did work out that the recent massive 66% hike in prices was cleverly balanced so that any losses were covered by the increased fees or savings from infrastructure costs due to abandoned servers. So I am pretty positive that Innocent will not lose out from those customers who feel jilted and stop buying products.

So to sum up my thoughts:

We shouldn't be surprised at this.
We are a little disappointed though.
We hope something good will rub off on Coca Cola and things don’t change too much too soon.

One extra question though is what return *do* Coke get? That wasn't really made clear to my mind.
Since I'm looking for investment myself for a food product idea, I'd be interested in knowing purely from a personal point of view what return Coca Cola are expecting for their nice injection of cash.

Yours, Jake.
(the Man in the Hat)

Hi, i think most people are over reacting it clearly said in the article that coke will have hardleys any input on innocent, its not going to change innocents veiws or products, it will just help them to continue to make great drinks. I can understand why people would no longer buy innocents products if they started adding sugar to their drinks, or started to not fairly producing their products, but don't you think you should give innocent and coke a chance?

WELL DONE PEOPLE AT INNOCENT A GREAT DECISION. COCA COLA IS A GREAT COMPANY THAT DOES MORE GOOD THAN HARM

PEOPLE HERE COMPLAINING ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO PROTEST FOR THE SAKE OF IT. THANKFULLY THEY ARE A MINORITY SO YOUR BRAND WILL FLOURISH TO BECOME THE BIGGEST AND BEST

The brand may well flourish, but it's already lost part of what made it different.

'innocent' seems on the path to being just another profit driven corporation. I hope 'innocent' will return to placing ethics at the core of its business, rather than merely presenting an ethical fascade as a marketing ploy.

there are a lot of ways to gain investment for your baby without getting into bed with the devil. social enterprise and all that. and, more to the point why bigger bigger bigger more more more? greed greed greed ...

sorry but you must think we are incredibly 'innocent' to fall for this 'it will only make us better' nonsense.

maybe you should speak to the families of the workers who were murdered by paramilitaries and then see how fluffy your deal is.

coke are using you to greenwash their evil beast and you have rolled over and let them do it to you.

you have sold out and innocent is now no longer a viable buy for anyone with an ethical bone in their body. bye bye innocent, you'll not get a penny more from me.

Very disappointed in this - I won't be buying Innocent smoothies again. It's becoming night on impossible to buy a soft drink that wasn't made or financed by Coca Cola Corp or Pepsi, but frankly I'd sooner drink blood than pay money to Coca Cola Corp - it'd amount to the same thing anyway, as CCC have blood on their hands in Colombia.

Hi Richard,

Just read about your £30M Coca Cola investment and am really sorry to say I now won't be buying any more of your smoothies on principal. I don't want any association with your minority business partner (it reminds me of when The Body Shop sold out to L'Oreal).

Innocence is a term used to indicate a state of moral purity or general lack of guilt - something clearly Coca Cola do not have. Sorry I believe this is a big mistake you've big made.

Just a quick comment to say thank you to everyone for posting their comments. We appreciate people taking the time to share their views; we've read every single one.

We knew it was important for us to be transparent about the Coke investment, because we suspected some people would have strong views. That is why we announced the deal on the front page of the website the day it happened, and why we posted about it on our blog, sent it out in our newsletter, told the media and answered their questions, responded to all the emails we got sent, posted a FAQ section on the site answering questions raised by our drinkers, and hosted an AGM where people could ask about the deal and then filmed the results, which are on this site.

Hopefully the majority of people feel that we have been open about the deal. To those that think we should have done more, we apologise. We've done what we can and we have to balance the time spent on explaining our business decisions with the fact that we've got to get on with running the business and making our smoothies. As such, this is going to be our last post on the subject for now, unless anything material changes.

It's worth reiterating that the promises we have made about innocent (to make only natural, healthy food; to push for more sustainable ingredients and production techniques; to donate more to charity) will not change with this deal. In fact, we will do them more.

And for those people still unhappy/unsure about us doing the deal, could we ask you to maybe (temporarily) reserve judgement. Check back in a year's time to see if we've changed for the worst or whether we're continuing to do the things we've always promised to do. You may be pleasantly surprised.


Thanks.

I see.

So you've answered the questions by not answering them and now are refusung to enter into any further discussion on the matter.

Interesting way to do business.

Straight out of the Coca Cola way to business.

I utterly agree with the vast majority of these posts. Surely you knew you would get this reaction from your loyal UK customers? What must you be thinking reading all of these?

I feel let down and don't believe in innocent as a brand any more. Your cheery on-pack wording now makes me feel like I'm being duped, rather than connected with.

You've lost another two customers here.

Very sad.

You've lost me as a customer, I won't support coke either directly or by the back door.

Innocent - not any more, guilty more like, guilty of signing your business up with a corporation that ignores Murder of its workers who are trade union members - shame on your company! No more smoothies for me - try as hard as you might with your corporate smooth talkers in the USA to change people's minds on the subject but I am afraid you are on a loser! - What genuine shame - I really thought you were innovative, funny ethical people, but you are greedy just like the rest of those at the top in our country greedy politicians, greedy un ethical big business - what a shame for us ordinary people who had faith in your brand and concept of a positive and humerous healthy product.

"And for those people still unhappy/unsure about us doing the deal, could we ask you to maybe (temporarily) reserve judgement. Check back in a year's time to see if we've changed for the worst or whether we're continuing to do the things we've always promised to do. You may be pleasantly surprised."

It's exasperating how simplistic you are being. Ethical business is complex and difficult, you are pretending it isn't which seriously damages the whole landscape for other ethical businesses, or people who want to be.

Even if you are still talking in the innocent way next year, even if your mangoes are still rainforest certified and even if you are still giving to your charity (which I assume will depend on profits) you are not ethical because you are doing it with Coke's money..

It's like if a free-range food company were being funded by the fur trade. It is hypocritical and unethical, and your simplistic approach is either very devious or completely unintelligent. Maybe both.

Just wanted to say I have not forgotten and have not bought any smoothies since April.


Sigh,
How thoroughly disappointing.
'play nice' shelve your believes when you realize you care more about more and more money.

Nice post...Good to see, thanks for sharing...

This is rediculus, they've done it so they have more resources and more ways to transport there product. the smoothies are still the same they're just making it so all you guys can get an innocent smoothie anywhere in the world. grow up and enjoy the drink!

this is a good post for investment

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