innocent: Values and Value
Robert Brown and David Grayson
Cranfield School of Management, UK
Volume 5: 2008, pp. 171-192; ABSTRACT
innocent drinks was a three-man start-up in the UK in 1998. It now operates in a number of European countries and has become an iconic brand. From its early years, innocent has made sustainability and ethical business practices, an integral part of its identity, alongside its wholesome fruit smoothie products, viral marketing campaigns and humorous, self-deprecating advertising. It has built strong consumer loyalty and become a powerful role model for other young entrepreneurs. As it starts its second decade, with more competition from own labels and global drinks companies; and as it expands in to more continental European markets, it is challenged to maintain and develop further its ethical business practices and commitment to sustainability. Do the three founders who retain majority ownership of their company sell their stake—and if they stay, how do they keep innocent, innocent?