Innovation Showcase: Mello

Rose Aldean

Innovation Showcase: Mello

Mello makes healthy watermelon and melon products, including juices and snacks. Director Rose Aldean chatted to BQ about why she has entered the business into Innovation Showcase at this year's Venturefest Manchester.

Describe your business in no more than 100 words 

Mello specialises in a range of healthy, innovative watermelon and melon food and drink products, including a range of Cold Pressed Melon Juices and Watermelon Seed Snacks. After first launching at Whole Foods Market in 2014, major stockists now include Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and multiple independents across the UK & Ireland.

What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.        

Mello is the first and only brand in the UK to specialise in a range of healthy watermelon and melon products; taking the UK’s number one selling exotic fruit and providing it in a convenient on-the-go format. Mello has successfully carved out a new food and drink category in the UK by meeting consumer demand for innovation and healthier options.

Mello is the only recognised healthy melon brand in the market and has no direct competitors producing cold pressed melon juice or roasted watermelon seeds in the UK. Everything about our business is innovative; from the products themselves, the way we produce them and our new product development pipeline. Mello juices are fresh, 100% natural and contain on average 50% less sugar than leading juices and smoothies. Mello seeds can be eaten as a high protein snack or used in recipes. They nutritionally outperform leading nuts, seeds and protein snacks on the market; they are naturally high in fibre, magnesium, iron, potassium and protein. The seeds are also vegan and vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free, making them ideal for the growing “free from” market.

How would you describe that to a novice?

We make healthy, innovative, watermelon and melon products.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Being able to advertise and market our products with a relatively limited budget – while the multinational brands owned by Coca Cola and Pepsi can spend millions every year. And that is why it’s so important for us stay true to our innovative nature and having a unique product in the market place has been key to our growth and success.

What are your biggest professional achievements to date?

Taking the products from concept to the shelves of retailers such as Waitrose, Ocado and Holland & Barrett with no previous industry experience. We have successfully created an innovative, new food and drink category and have been recognized by multiple industry awards, from a “One to Watch” award by Investec to a finalist award at the Grocer New Product Awards and winning 3 Great Taste Awards in 2017.

How do you feel about exhibiting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Manchester?

We are excited to share our story! 

What would winning the Innovation Showcase mean to your business?

We’re thrilled to be through to the finals and if we were lucky enough to win the innovation competition it would bring further recognition and validation of our innovative nature and achievements to date.

Where do you see your company in five years’ time?

Being a global leader in the watermelon and melon food and drink category.

What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?

Never give up.