Richard Reed is one of the dynamic trio who set up Innocent Drinks - a success story that has resonated with the business world. With a simple idea and a great deal of confidence Richard Reed has proved that in today's climate a non-corporate attitude and an emphasis on social responsibility can yield stunning results.
Likeable and approachable, Richard Reed inspires audiences with his amazing start-up story and paints a picture of what it is to be a modern entrepreneur.
Richard Reed founded Innocent in 1998 with two friends from Cambridge University, Adam Balon and Jon Wright. After graduating he worked in advertising for four years but the desire to set up his own company got the better of him and with his two college friends they decided to go for fresh juices with a fresh attitude and an emphasis on corporate social responsibility.
The result was both fast growing and hugely profitable. After its launch Innocent grew 20% year on year to become the leading smoothie brand in the UK. The range has expanded greatly and now includes snacks as well as drinks. In 2009 Coca-Cola bought an 18% stake in the company for 30 million and upped it a year later to 65 million for 58%. They now own 90% of the company.
Innocent donate 10% of their profits to charity through the Innocent Foundation, the majority of which goes to support rural development projects in the countries where the Innocent fruit comes from.
Richard Reed strongly believes that starting up a company is open to all and that entrepreneurship should be taught in schools.
He has won many awards for entrepreneurship as well as countless accolades for his products including The Grocer magazines Gold and Branded Excellence Awards and the Quality Food and Drink Awards known as the Foodie Oscars.
Richard has featured in many newspaper articles and appeared on Be Your Own Boss for BBC 3
The Innocent story has been turned into a book.
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