Meet the founder of Coldpress Juices
Andrew Gibb is without question one of the godfathers of the UK’s HPP juice movement. Coldpress was established in 2011, on the back of 4 years of ‘Presha Fruit’ learnings (Andrew’s original Australian brand).
Other HPP juice players may well jiggle with their timelines to foggy the waters with regards to when they first got motoring, but in truth Coldpress was two years ahead of the curve Vs its nearest rival.
In 2014 the launch of Public Health England’s report on ‘sugar reduction’ set out the government’s ambitious stall to tackle the nation’s obesity epidemic head on, whilst providing some urgent relief for a buckling NHS. Overnight the juice category slid into freefall, a dramatic knee-jerk reaction to some needlessly alarmist headlines.
Yes, a juice fixture, for too long monopolised by the pasteurised titans Tropicana (Pepsico) and Innocent (Coke) was in urgent need of a fresh, healthier living perspective and yet one must never forget the essential role that all juice plays in the daily delivery of essential vitamins and nutrients.
THE DAWN OF HPP (High Pressure Processing)
Of course you can’t beat freshly squeezed juice but then again who has the time or the inclination to squeeze fruit and veg every day of the week? HPP (cold pressure) is as close as most people will ever get to marching into an orchard with a high-powered blender and a very long extension lead.
PASTEURISATION Vs PASCALISATION (HPP)
You wouldn’t boil an orange before eating it so would you accept heat treated juices? Traditional pasteurised juices use short, sharp bursts of heat to keep mischievous bacteria at bay. Unfortunately the heavy-handed nature of this treatment means that many of the all-important flavour notes and nutrient counts that were so integral to picking best-in-class ingredients in the first place are lost in the resulting ‘heat-fest.’
In stark contrast, HPP uses eco-friendly hydrostatic energy to bring bacteria book, whilst protecting the delicate flavours and nutritional integrity of the chosen fruit and veg.
Hi Andrew, thank you for joining me. Why was now the right time to launch Coldpress?
There are many reasons to feel optimistic about everything Coldpress is seeking to achieve.
For one thing Coldpress are bringing real choice and discernment to historical ‘sackcloth’ drinks categories. Nut milks have been a popular call to arms for the health conscious and dairy-free fraternities for years and yet for ages the only real choice was the name of the brand and what shade of white appealed most.
Coldpress stands at the forefront of brands looking to give this blossoming category more mainstream appetite appeal by creating flavour profiles and velvety smooth textures that stand proud from the crowd: *Raspberry, Pear, Beetroot Almond, *Strawberry Oat Cashew, *Spiced Oat Almond and *Blueberry, Cherry, Guarana Almond drink now sit alongside our talismanic *Almond Banana, Raw Cacao and *Very Berry variants.
*our almond pastes are created on site unlike most almond milk providers who employ pre-prepared powders
Exactly the same rationale could be applied to our Fruit Coconut Waters which have added extra depth to the traditional coconut water fixture. Elsewhere our top-selling Fruit & Veg blends have made historically fringe veggie juices ripple with everyday appetite appeal.
Supermarkets in truth have always kept track with innovation and new drinks trends, however with our expanding HPP prowess Coldpress is taking top drawer juices into sectors (airlines, vending, on-trade, foodservice)historically starved of best-in-class soft drinks. Of particular note has been our meteoric growth within All Bar 1, where there was an appetite for top drawer juices that ably accompanied as opposed to overpowered their various meal offers.
The third example would be a growing appetite for home-grown brands in this increasingly uncertain Brexit environment. Of course our quest for best-in-class ingredients means we continue scour the world for the very best ingredients on offer, however when it comes to production, ongoing innovation and our expanding management function we insist on this being British-based.
You've been on this journey and growing a fantastic brand for a while, but what has been your proudest moment so far?
There are many I could choose from but here are 4 off the top of my head:
- Our 1stnational listing with Waitrose:a retailer with an unrivalled reputation for backing new ideas and fledgling businesses.
- Our long-standing collaboration with Pink Lady:which has been beneficial to both parties. One of the many joys associated with cold pressure is the respectful way it treats its ingredients (protecting even the most discreet flavour nuances)so that it is perfectly plausible to differentiate a Granny Smith from a Golden Wonder and Pink Lady juice.
- Our hexagonal bottles:it may seem a small thing to many, but to me our association with these distinct six-sided bottles underpins our ongoing commitment to always go the extra yard, to stand out from the crowd and to always align with nature
hexagons =nature’s strongest shape – think tortoise shells and honeycombs
- Our decision from Day.1 to democratise the juice fixture by creating ‘next generation’ juices at everyday, affordable price points.
Who would you say is your target audience?
Health conscious consumers of all ages, foodies and early adopters of new wave thinking because a no heat/raw agendais very much the future for anyone pursuing a better balanced and more wholesome lifestyle.
Every business goes through its ups and downs, but what has been your biggest obstacle?
Educating the masses; because too many juice enthusiasts remain blissfully unaware of the oppressive, heavy-handed processes endured by most everyday juices. As soon as we start to talk about ‘never heating our fruit and veg’we win over new loyalists, however the deliberately vague nature of so many labels means that many consumers remain in the dark regarding the excessive ‘roughing up’ that too many fruits & veg are exposed to.
Top tip for fellow entrepreneurs?
Never lose the faith! There will many along the way who’ll seek to dent your confidence or put you off your stride. If you have a ground breaking notion acknowledge that you will ruffle a few feathers along the way but in the end it will turn out alright!
What's next for Coldpress over the coming months?
Coldpress is a brand that never stands still. As I’ve highlighted above, our most recent range forays have revolved around resuscitating ambitious sub-categories like nut milks, coconut waters and even smoothies. Our next task is to bring new thinking and impetus to the traditional hardcore juice arenas – look out for our Special Batch orange juice!