Fentimans to double turnover on european demand for botanical mixers – yahoo finance uk
The maker of traditional lemonade now sells into 64 countries
Fentimans, the botanical drinks business, will double turnover over the next
four years off the back of strong export sales, driven by demand from
mainland Europe and the US.
The family business, which was resurrected in 1995 by Eldon Robson, the great
grandson of founder Thomas Fentiman, 25 years after it was closed
exports to 64 countries across the world.
“We’ve invested almost £1m in new premises and production equipment over the
last two years,” said Mr Robson, who makes the products in Hexham,
Northumberland. “Exports now account for 30pc of our business.”
More than two-thirds of Fentimans’ overseas sales are in Europe, with the bulk
of the remainder in the US, Japan, South America, Canada and Russia.
The company has franchised the business in the US, where products are
manufactured in Pennsylvania.
The company received an unexpected sales boost in the States back
in 2009, after a bottle of its Victorian Lemonade was confiscated from a
pupil in Maine because it contained 0.5pc alcohol. Enquiries from US
wholesalers across 30 states increased tenfold following the incident.
According to Mr Robson, two key trends will help the business hit £50m in
revenue within four years.
“The ‘free-from’ marketplace has now appeared, which our gluten-free alcoholic
ginger beer is perfect for,” he said, referring to the new category of
products that are free from allergens such as wheat.
“Whole free-from aisles are appearing in supermarkets.”
fastest-growing division of the business is Fentimans’ mixers ; it
produces an all-natural tonic, diet tonic, rose lemonade and ginger ale,
with a new “floral” mixer planned for launch in 2016.
“Right now it’s only 15pc of the business but with the premiumisation trend in
mixers, it could overtake the main business,” Mr Robson claimed.
Fentimans is one of the stars of this year’s Exporting is GREAT, a Government
initiative which aims to encourage more UK companies to trade overseas.
Exporting is GREAT, which begins today, aims to support 100,000 new UK
exporters to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020, doubling the
According to new research from Sage, the accounting software provider, 75pc of
small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not currently selling overseas
and have no plans to.
The survey of 400 firms found that 7pc export to Europe alone, 16pc export
globally, but the rest do not export at all, or have any intention of
opening up international markets.
Just 2pc do not export now but have plans to.
Sage is partnering with the Government this Export Week on Exporting is GREAT,
part of the Government’s GREAT campaign, in an attempt to encourage more of
its customers to become exporters.
“Exporting is a significant step on the journey one that many small and
medium businesses don’t feel they have the support or knowledge to take,”
said Sage chief executive Stephen Kelly.
“Our customers tell us that awareness of the opportunities and more
government and industry support would help them make the move, so we are
thrilled to be supporting Exporting is GREAT.”
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