The customer is always right. Quite so in the case of Innocent Drinks, whose smoothie enthusiasts at a music festival in London decided on the three founders faith.
Innocent Drinks first steps
Known for having brought the smoothie craze to the masses, Innocent Drinks was among the first companies to go big and do it ethically and sustainably. Only working with grocers that grow fruit according to specific rules and donating a percentage of profit to charity, the company paved the way for many more business to follow their example.
Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright first tested their idea at parties at Cambridge University where they all studied together. However unlike other illustrious entrepreneurs such as Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, they didn’t throw caution to the wind and drop out of university but actually pursued conventional careers after graduation.
Putting faith in people
They couldn’t let go of the idea though and on the side they kept testing recipes and selling at market stalls. Since they couldn’t make up their minds, whether to pursue their vision or stick to their career, they handed the decision to their customers at a music festival in London.
Presented with 2 choices of where to bin their empty smoothie glasses, their patrons could vote if the smoothies were so good that Reed & co. should quit their day job or not.
As you may have guessed, at the end of the day the ‘yes’ bin was full so Reed, Balon and Wright handed in their notices the next day and set out to found a £320 million worth company, now owned by beverage-titan Coca Cola.