Food and drink companies are amongst the fastest growing sectors in the temperamental world of startups. Consequently, the competition is fierce. Nevertheless, It would seem we brainy Brits are simply brimming with bright ideas. From healthy low-cal cocktails to adults-only confectionary, here’s ten little UK startups we predict big things for in 2016.
Ever since mankind discovered the joy that is alcohol, it has simultaneously been trying to kill its less sociable sidekick, the hangover. Have we finally succeeded? Douglas Wolfson and Sanam Petri, creators of the revolutionary new drink OHAYO, think they may just have cracked it.
OHAYO’s founders are two besties that moved to London from NYC over five years ago. They were both immediately struck by our country’s not-so-tame drinking culture that entailed a lot of late nights followed by early mornings. Douglas now devotes himself to the business full-time, while Sanam maintains a high-profile creative job at Nike.
Translated from Japanese as “good morning” the nifty little drink has been created to replace what’s lost by the body during sport, malady, a night of fervent boozing or just through the strains of everyday life.
“Drink just one OHAYO, and you’ll put back into your body all the crucial vitamins, minerals and other good stuff lost throughout the day,” Douglas tells us. “You’ll wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and rehydrated.”
Garnering positive press both home and away, international expansion is the next obvious step for the busy twosome. “We have been inundated with requests to distribute and licence the product around the world,” says Douglas.
Ohayo also boasts some pretty hi-tech branding and design. When the label is peeled back, the bottle glows in the dark, so if left out on a nightstand it provides a friendly reminder to chug before bed.
2. Twisted Halo
Any girl who can knock back a few (or few dozen) on a night out is probably well acquainted with the old vodka, lime and soda combo. It’s clean, it’s strong and it’s low-cal, so it’s almost a fail-safe option. Almost.
But Jess Titcumb, like many of us, grew tired of the mixer and its wholly uninspiring flavour profile. And from this widespread epidemic of drinking monotony, Twisted Halo was born.
The brand is an alcoholic drinks company that uses natural ingredients to concoct sophisticated and unique flavour combinations. Twisted Halo’s first product launched early last year: a delicate blend of coconut water and premium vodka muddled with fresh ginger. At 90 calories per bottle the gently sparkling beverage is 100% guilt-free and delicious, plus it comes ready to drink, whether you’re entertaining, or just in need of a post-workday quaff.
2016 is looking to be a monumental year for entrepreneur Melanie Goldsmith and chef Emile Bernard, the founders of Smith & Sinclair – the luxury confectionary company aimed solely at grown-ups. Only in its second year, the brand is already stocked in over 75 outlets across the country, including Whole Foods, Harvey Nichols and The Conran Shop.
“Our whole brand is built on the notion of experience driven adult play,” co-founder Melanie tells The Metropolist. The idea was born from a series of dating events, wherein guests were encouraged to lose their inhibitions. “We also loved the idea of innovating in an industry which has remained relatively uninspired for decades,” she says. “And the edible cocktail was born.”
Each delectable little pastille is carefully crafted like an actual cocktail, with the core being a solidification of premium spirits mixers, bitters and natural juices. A garnish is even infused into the sugar coating.
The savvy duo predict to increase revenue growth by 123% in 2016. As well as working on a rebrand set to launch in September, they’re also planning a Christmas pop up activation for the capital. So watch this space for the sweetest updates.
Launched in early 2015, Craft Gin Club was founded by the crafty mates John Burke and Jon Hulme. According to recent market research by Mintel, the UK is in the throws of a “gin-naissance,” with sales of the herbal concoction soaring in recent years.
“Discerning drinkers have turned towards gin instead of vodka as it provides more room for inventive cocktails and a much broader flavour profile than its sister spirit,” Founder John Burke told The Metropolist. “The spirit’s flexibility as a base has only perpetuated with the wide array of craft gins from small producers hitting the market.”
United at business school in Madrid, John and Jon became avid fans of both gin and subscription box businesses. Thus it was perhaps a natural progression for the pair to launch their own company that comprised these two passions.
The members club allows gin-thusiasts to discover the best craft gin producers from around the world through subscription boxes which deliver one bottle of high quality and often obscure gin per month.
How is Craft Gin Club expanding? Quickly, it would seem! In May the pair launched another venture that’s quickly gaining traction: Bubble Club, for enthusiasts of sparkling wine.
Launched only in February, healthy snacking alternative, Well&Truly, has hit the ground running. The company’s first product – gluten free tortilla chips – has already been rolled out in over a thousand Tesco stores, while their second – an all natural gazpacho drink – has just hit the shelves of Whole Foods.
Founded by two skilled Swedish sisters, the duo devised the brand around the central philosophy of “less is moreish.” Seeing a gap in the “free-from” food market, the pair set to work creating a line of products that are guaranteed to exclude trans fats, additives, GM ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and MSG. Their gazpacho refresher, for example, is concocted only from tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, sweet onion, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and salt.
Well&Truly’s website also functions as an active wellness blog, providing users with delicious and of course nutritious recipes and healthy eating tips. Keep your eyes peeled this summer, Londoners, Well&Truly are just about to launch a prominent ad campaign sure to propel them further into the ever-expanding health foods market.