As part of our Brand Story series, we recently caught up with the team The Berry Company. Here is their fascinating story from concept to success:
The Berry Company prides itself on sourcing the best and most exotic ingredients and botanicals from around the world that deliver light and balanced flavours, full of taste and goodness.
Their delicious juice blends combine full bodied fruitiness, subtle flavour notes and lush exoticism. Our juices contain no added sugar or sweeteners. Suitable for those following a vegan diet, our blends are healthy, low in sugars and calories, and perfectly complement the world’s finest spirits to deliver exotic and unique drinks and cocktails.
Who is the founder and what is their background?
Khaled El-Yafi is a British-Lebanese entrepreneur, who graduated with a business degree in 2001, before going to work for his father’s food distribution company. Whilst working there in Sales and Merchandising, Khaled was exposed to the way in which the market worked, supply chain structure, head office decision making and wholesaler activity, and gave hima great breadth of information to start his own business.
Khaled founded The Berry Company in 2007, having been inspired by the publicity surrounding superfoods and their nutritious benefits. Khaled is passionate about health and fitness, so wanted to create a juice brand that would support him on his fitness journey.
The Berry Company’s blueberry juice blend was their first product, which was rich in Vitamin C and K, and led them to win the ‘Best New Brand’ at the 2007 Beverage Innovation awards. This early success allowed Khaled to shape The Berry Company’s long term strategy that eventually extended to over 40 products and sold to over 40 countries around the world.
Can you tell us why it was created? What is its mission?
Whilst working at my father’s food distribution company, I became exposed to the grocery market. This coincided with the market shifting towards more colourful and adventurous consumer choices. The antioxidant phenomena was booming, and all things berry seemed to compliment that superfood revolution. I saw the opportunity and launched a blueberry juice, rich in antioxidants and without added sugar. That product’s initial success shaped the brands medium term destiny and before the end of the first year we launched four more products, Acai, Goji, Superberries Purple and Superberries Red.
What are its USPs?
The Berry Company is all natural, contains no added sugars or sweeteners. We source very exotic fruits, botanicals and ingredients from all over the world which make our products distinctly unique by way of flavour and profile.
Can you share the story of the brand’s journey – from concept to where it is now?
Founded in 2007 by Khaled El-Yafi, The Berry Company was born. Having observed a pronounced shift among discerning consumers towards healthier and more exotic choices, the company set about sourcing a range of antioxidant rich juice blends
The company’s first product was the delicious and naturally sweetened blueberry juice. Following the success of the wildly popular flavour, The Berry Company adventurously sourced more exotic juices and botanicals.
The richly delicious and multi textured Acai Berry and Goji Berry blends followed. The Berry Company experimented with these blends by combining the Amazonian Acai with pressed Raspberry and the Tibetan Goji berry with Passionfruit juice. These unique hybrid blends became internationally popular and both shaped and accelerated the company’s vision and mission to further develop and combine exotic flavours with botanicals from around the globe.
Over time The Berry Company has added 25 sku’s to its portfolio, which now includes sparkling and naturally light products. They work with the very best flavour houses and plantation growers to develop blends with unique flavour notes, combining sweet, sour, and savoury; taste always remaining king.
Today The Berry Company sell to over 45 countries worldwide, across all continents. Their blends
combine unique ingredients and botanicals from every corner of the globe, defining them “unique to us, unique to the consumer and truly international in every sense” (El-Yafi, 2021).
What’s the secret to the brand’s success?
Our minimalist and now iconic packaging and design and therefore brand message are easily understood all across the world.
Who are the key personnel and can you tell us a little about their contribution to the brand?
Myself who is the brand founder and CEO. I also have a team that includes my brother Tarek who is in charge of sales, Natasha who is in charge of Marketing, Niroj who is responsible for all things financial, my best friend Ashil who is in charge of New Brand Development and a very supportive board.
What are its most successful innovations?
We have had many different innovations over the years but those which best captured the zeitgeist of the time would include the Acai and Goji blends, our White Tea and Peach and our newly launched sparkling range.
How has the brand been promoted over the years?
We have been very committed to in store activities in retailers all over the world. We also work very closely with our international distributors all over the world.
What are the biggest challenges and how have they been overcome?
New Market Entrants are a constant challenge especially given the fast twitching consumer habits.We have to constantly be innovative as a result which is part of the fun.
What are the brand’s biggest successes?
Maintaining the company’s family values.
What are the founders most proud of about the brand?
Our ability to sell and establish ourselves in some of the most exotic regions in the world whilst always maintaining our proud British roots is something we consider a triumph
Can you tell us about any eco/sustainability initiatives the brand has?
At The Berry Company, we pride ourselves on sourcing the best and most exotic ingredients and botanicals from around the world. We acknowledge the assumed contradiction between the phrases ‘exotic sourcing’ and ‘sustainability’, however, at The Berry Company we are committed to monitoring our environmental impact and improving our eco-conscious initiatives.
We have long-standing relationships with our plantation growers to produce the best possible ingredients for our juice blends without the use of harmful chemicals. We source locally where possible and obtain our water from natural springs in Somerset, UK. Renewable energy and natural gases are used in production.
Can you tell us about any key charity/philanthropic initiatives/efforts the brand has?
SInce April 2021, we have been working with One Tree Planted, a nonprofit organisation on a mission to make it simple for anyone to help the environment by planting trees. Their projects span the globe and are done in partnership with local communities and knowledgeable experts to create an impact for nature, people, and wildlife. Reforestation helps to rebuild forests after fires and floods, provide jobs for social impact, and restore biodiversity. Many projects have overlapping objectives, creating a combination of benefits that contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
We’re honoured to have reforestation through One Tree Planted as an integral part of our business model.
Does the brand use and brand ambassadors/ celebrity partners/influencers?
The past year we have mostly been focussing on micro-influencers. It’s been great to work with a breadth of people, who have created really exciting content for us.
Can the founders or senior personnel share 5-10 key pieces of advice for success?
Number one keep on drinking … juice
Always try to keep your operation lean
Always stay true to your brand message
Never compromise on quality throughout the business
Top line is vanity, bottom line is sanity
What are their favourite inspirational/motivational/leadership type quotes?
Top line is vanity, bottom line is sanity
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/theberrycompany/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/theberrycompany/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/theberryco
One Tree Planted – https://www.instagram.com/onetreeplanted/?hl=en
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