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A blended smoothie is one of the easiest ways to fit in your five-a-day, and take a meal on the go if you’re running short on time. However, the majority of pre-made smoothies available on the shelves of any convenience or health-food store tend to boast as much as 500 calories per bottle with over 40 grams of sugar. So as they say, if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.
The Honestly Good Smoothie Company is helping the everyday, health-conscious consumer create high quality smoothies, without the stress of deciding what’s in them. With personalised boxes of natural ingredients that can be blended up for a nutritionally complete meal in just seconds, their smoothies are just that – honestly good.
We sat down with founder Vikesh Kotecha to find out more.
What is The Honestly Good Smoothie Company’s mission in your own words?
There doesn’t need to be a trade-off between an ethical business, and a profitable one – and we’re trying to bring that to life by enriching people’s diets with honestly good food that they can trust.
What encouraged you to build The Honestly Good Smoothie Company?
Back in late 2015, I was suffering from repeated digestive trouble, but refused to take any medication for my symptoms. Instead, I turned to smoothies as a convenient way to increase my fibre intake. However, I quickly found that regardless of the brand, the ready-to-drink smoothies I was buying were chalk full of pasteurised apple juice, with very little fibre or nutritional value.
So, I tried to blend my own, but this effort wouldn’t have lasted more than a week had it not been for my mum who kindly stepped in to prepare them for me each morning (I had just moved back home, so was being rather spoilt). I woke up to six more blissful months of freshly prepared smoothies. When my mum went on holiday with a friend – unwilling to chop and peel ingredients myself, and unable to find anyone offering high quality organic ingredients, in a convenient way, I decided to hand in my notice at my job at the time, and do it myself.
How does The Honestly Good Smoothie Company stand out among competitors?
We’re committed to only using 100% organic produce, prepared freshly on a weekly basis. We use chunky chopped, hand prepared ingredients so you can see exactly what you’re blending. Each and every recipe is developed by our chef and nutritionist, to ensure it’s sufficient as a meal replacement, with balanced macros, and tastes good too!
Our focus is on low GI, vegetable-based smoothies, as opposed to traditionally more fruit-based recipes which tend to be higher in sugar content. We now have over 25 recipes, and serve a seasonal weekly menu. No matter what their nutritional preferences are, we use technology to ensure all our customers can tailor their boxes to meet them, giving them full control over their diets.
We source as much of our produce as possible from UK organic farmers, and turn to carefully selected soil association certified wholesalers for other ingredients. We currently offer a green, fruity, or variety box, and within each you’re able to rate smoothies according to your preferences, thereby tailoring future boxes to your taste.
How does The Honestly Good Smoothie Company appeal to the modern consumer?
According to our research, one of the key reasons consumers were choosing to blend at home, rather than buy ready-to-drink smoothies was transparency. Consumers now more than ever want to know exactly what’s in their food, where it comes from, and why. The Honestly Good Smoothie Co. provides complete transparency, by using chunky chopped ingredients, and behind-the-scenes footage so you can see exactly what’s in your smoothie, and how it got there. We also provide a balance between “surprise and delight” when opening your box, with a seasonal, rotating menu and the opportunity for you to personalise what comes in it.
We’re meeting demand across a number of fast-growing sectors including home delivery, subscription, premium frozen food and healthy living.
What has been the greatest success for the company so far?
We were really excited to launch Honestly Good V2.0. After many months of collecting feedback and product / software development, we launched a new and improved service in January 2020, which included new packaging, a new price point, new portion size, refreshed recipes, the ability to fully personalise boxes, and a more seamless user experience.
These changes were extremely well received, and we saw customer retention increase almost two-fold over the following months as a result. We have grown our subscriber base six-fold since seed.
What new products do you have on your roadmap?
We’re always working on new smoothie recipes, and have around ten new recipes in development right now, as part of a new “dessert” inspired range, inspired by classics such as carrot cake, chocolate fudge brownie. Despite the sweet allure, each of these recipes boasts the same nutritious composition of 100% organic fruit, vegetables, nuts, herbs and seeds, and nothing else. We’ll also be releasing our re-usable cool bag later this year, and will begin offering complimentary liquids such as coconut milk and almond milk too! We have a number of other ideas in the works, which will come to life as we continuously listen to and adapt to the needs of our customers.
How is The Honestly Good Smoothie Company equipped to scale?
From day one, we’ve focused on building our technology to scale, providing valuable data capture and analysis for accurate forecasting and complete traceability. We also continue to invest in technology to optimise and automate processes allowing us to more effectively meet increasing demand for our product. We’re currently located in a production facility with access to flexible kitchen space and cold storage, allowing us to take more space as we grow.
Why are you looking forward to bringing on Seedrs investors?
Last year we raised on crowdcube, and it was an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded investors who share our vision and passion for The Honestly Good Smoothie Co. We found loyal customers, met new friends, and it allowed us to foster a community whereby we could reach out to receive feedback on new ideas and products from such a wide variety of experience / backgrounds.
How would you describe your team?
We’re a small (and growing) team who share a passion for honestly good food, and see it as our mission to inspire change in the industry for the better, through providing 100% organic smoothies with no nasties, in a transparent and sustainable way
What’s your favourite smoothie blend?
The Smoothie Spice – the tangy goji berries with fiery ginger is a unique combination.
What is your best life hack to survive lockdown?
Outdoor exercise! As it turns out, fresh air and exercise is extremely energising, so I won’t be heading back to the gym anytime soon!
To find out more about The Honestly Good Smoothie Company, check out the pitch.