Entrepreneurs Luke Johnstone and Alex Stewart launched PACK’D in a bid to make the process of making healthy smoothies easier and quicker.
The company manufactures and sells pre-made smoothie packs containing whole fruit, vegetables and superfoods to help consumers create healthy smoothies in under a minute.
Johnstone and Stewart came up with the idea back in 2013 and decided to trial the concept from a Hackney market stall to see how customers would respond.
Johnstone told BQ: “I started PACK’D because I was fed up with unhealthy products, misleading labeling and a lack of time that made healthy choices complicated.
“We started as a market stall in 2013 for market research, to initially fund product development and concept test.
“Our turnover, alongside support from The Prince's Trust and Virgin StartUp, kept the idea alive and allowed us to create the best range we possibly could.”
After two years of research and development, and a whole lot of hard work, the duo are now supplying the likes of Sainsbury’s and Whole Foods and are expecting further growth.
“For us, new business has been a combination of emails, calls, trade shows, brand building and persistence,” he said.
“We spent time honing our presentation and pitch, contacting the right buyers, attending events, sending beautiful samples and having lots of discussions about the detail.
“Securing listings has been different every time – sometimes it is very quick but it can also be a rollercoaster.
"The most important thing has been confidence in the product to keep going, and solid preparation to do it justice.”
Speaking about the future, he said: “By 2020 we want to lead innovation in healthy-frozen food, upgrade the standards of nutrition and ultimately fuel potential worldwide.
“We launched in our first stockist (EAT 17 opposite our market stall pitch) and Whole Foods in October 2015. Our turnover has grown from £44,000 in year one (April 15-16) to a forecasted £3m this year.
“We’re proud that our smoothie kits are now fuelling performances from Les Miserables to Chelsea W.F.C. and everyone in between.”
In a bid to continue growing the business, the duo have also entered the VOOM 2016 pitching competition held by Virgin Media Business in a bid to win £1m.
PACK’D has since made it through to the last 40 companies which will then be narrowed down to six final businesses.
The finalists will then pitch in the live finale in front of Richard Branson and his panel of expert judges; Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Peter Kelly.
Johnstone said: “We're growing at a rapid rate in a competitive industry that is dominated by big business.
“Voom is essential for us to level the playing field, show the true potential of PACK'D, and give as many people as possible the chance to try smoothies 2.0!”
BQ will continue covering the PACK’D story as the company continues to grow.