Humble Warrior

Humble Warrior co-founder Rosh Field said there was growing momentum in functional soft drinks

Functional drinks brand Humble Warrior has opened a fourth fundraising round, as it looks to support its first major grocery listing in Waitrose.

The brand – which has this month rolled out to 242 Waitrose stores nationwide – will seek a further £750,000, taking its total raised to more than £1m.

The funds would support the Waitrose listing through a combination of price promotion, in-store activations and its first-ever above-the-line campaign in the second half of next year, Humble Warrior founder Rosh Field told The Grocer.

The latest round is Humble Warrior’s biggest to date, and follows on from a smaller “six-figure” raise completed in November 2023. Backers of the brand include Brunswick chairman and founder Sir Alan Parker, former Coca-Cola exec Paul Stanford, and Georg Gruber, CEO of Nando’s Grocery.

Field said Humble Warrior had taken a “prudent, conservative approach” to fundraising to date.

“We’ve always hit the number we’ve needed to so we’re not diluting our founders and existing investors more than we need to, and so we’re raising an appropriate valuation.

“I think that’s enabled us to win the trust of our investors,” she added.

Now, however, Humble Warrior was stepping up, having seen “a lot of momentum behind functional drinks” Field said.

“We’re excited; we think the category is set to grow. Everyone knows functional is coming. There’s a new drink released every week so it’s a good time to come into this space.”

On what made Humble Warrior’s range of drinks stand out in the category, Field claimed: “No other carbonate apart from Humble Warrior is using natural ingredients to source their vitamins You’ve got a lot of others out there that are just adding synthetics and that’s the USP for us.”

Two of Humble Warrior’s flavours – Pomegranate Hibiscus and Pineapple Ginger – been listed in Waitrose after a successful trial (rsp: £5.50/4x250ml). A third – Mango Turmeric – is set to list in February. 

Waitrose soft drinks buyer Matthew Blake said the retailer was “excited to bring Humble Warrior’s functional drinks to more Waitrose shoppers.”

“What’s clear from our trial is that customers want drinks that will support their active lives, without compromising on taste. Humble Warrior has been a great partner so far, and we’re delighted to make it a permanent fixture in our carbonates bay,” he added.

Field said the brand was in discussions with two other retailers, as it sought to grow its 700 distribution points in the UK.