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

current number.

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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