Innocent plans to grow formats and distribution under a new ‘go-to-market model’

Innocent has reshuffled its board, parachuting in five new directors as part of an internal shake-up that has seen its COO James Davenport and UK MD Sam Akinluyi exit.

Nicolas Marotte, currently MD for Innocent in France, will step into the new role of director, go-to market, while CMO Kirsty Hunter will become director, marketing and innovation.

Tobias Ekpfadt, meanwhile, joins from parent company Coca-Cola as director, finance and strategy.

Neelam Patel and Simon Ketteringham will also join the board from Innocent’s existing team as general counsel and director, technology and transformation respectively.

Innocent confirmed – alongside Davenport – that UK MD Sam Akinluyi and Franz Bruckner, head of Innocent’s business in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics, were standing down from its board and leaving the business.

The restructure at board level came alongside a new 2030 business strategy from Innocent, which it said would see “the company refocus on its founding purpose: making it easier for people to live well through the delicious goodness of fruit & veg”.

The company has set itself the goal of delivering a billion more portions of fruit & veg per year by 2030, having delivered 1.2 billion portions via the sales of its drinks in 2023.

To achieve this, Innocent would “build on its core and popular offerings of juices and smoothies and its successful kids range in the UK” as well as growing both formats and distribution under a new “go-to-market model”, it said.

Nick Canney, CEO of Innocent Drinks, said: “As we write the next chapter, as a fully fledged end-to-end company, we are focused on doing what Innocent does best: delivering healthy little drinks which quite simply taste good and do good – for our drinkers and for our communities.”

Having risen over the last two decades to become a supermarket mainstay across the UK and Europe, Innocent’s progress has stalled in recent times, with the brand describing the year ended 31 December 2022 as one of its “most challenging” to date.

Revenues slid by £15.6m – a 3.5% fall year on year – as the brand was hit by stiff competition from own label, soaring costs and production issues at its new £200m factory in Rotterdam.

Operating losses grew by £31.8m to £41.3m, while losses after tax increased more than five-fold to £48.8m.