Innocent was founded by friends Richard Reed, Adam Ballon and Jon Wright, while they were working in advertising. They sold their smoothies at a music festival in London in 1999, inviting their customers to put their used bottles in bins marked “yes” or “no” depending on whether they thought they should quit their jobs and start a smoothie business. At the end of the day the “yes” bin was full and there were just three bottles in the “no” bin. The three quit their jobs the next day and spent 15 months developing the product before finally bringing it to market, backed by £250,000 from American investor Maurice Pinto. In 2009 the founders sold a 10-20 per cent stake to The Coca-Cola Company for approx. £30m. Coca-Cola now holds a stake of over 90 per cent.
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