Paul Bendit was ahead of him time in crafting a range of artisan beverages, but before long the world caught up. He spoke to the team about the success of Folkington’s.
What is your company background, how did you start the business?
“I started this business in 1999 importing water from Italy, but soon moved into making premium soft drinks like iced tea, fair-trade iced coffee and healthy kids drinks – long before they were the hot topic! Too early, in fact, so they were all shelved and we went back into the centre ground and started producing really first rate premium orange juice and apple juice under this new Folkington’s brand in 2012. The USP of the brand is provenance – we were the first to introduce this into soft drinks and juices. We go back to the same farmers for the same fruit varieties which gives us unique quality and consistency.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market?
“The brand now comprises the discreet ranges – fruit juices and drinks in glass bottles. Sparkling drinks in beautiful cans and just launched a range of artisan mixers using botanicals made in small batches. As per above, our provenance remains at the core to each range and we identify the country and region of all our ingredients on the retail pack.”
Has there been any recent company news?
“While our most recent launch was the range of mixers, which are already on board British Airways, this year Folkington’s has been seleceted by the caterers for The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Ascot races and Wimbledon Tennis Fortnight.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“The Gin & Tonic craze seems to be running away with itself so we expect this new mixer range to help grow the brand both in the UK and in the Far East where we are opening up distribution in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability?
“We sell almost exclusively into the foodservice and licensed trade channels rather than general grocery retail. We do also have a good following at the premium food retail and farmshops etc. We see this as a strength and sets us apart from the rest.”