Two years after launching disruptor brand FITCH, Andy Deeley and Emily Fitch-Deeley are successfully selling to consumers via UK Foodservice distributor channels, hotels, bars and restaurants and also direct on Amazon and their website, alongside their growth in export markets.
FITCH is attempting to take on the soft drinks industry by producing its own blend of ready to drink cold brew teas and coffees, brewing with real coffee grounds and tea leaves in the process to result in great function and flavour.
But the founders say they’re consciously biding their time and building up their following before trying to land deals with big retailers.
Andy said: “We’re on a mission to challenge the perception of soft drinks and bring some new products to the UK.
“Using pure ingredients – real tea leaves, real coffee grounds – our products are low calorie and vegan. They tick a lot of boxes for the consumer of today.
“We have been in discussions with large retailers, but we have decided we need to build the brand in different sales channels before going down that route. We have been focused on working with foodservice and on-trade such as bar chains, hotel chains and service stations first.
“Getting onto shelves is about 20% of the solution. Getting people to buy is the other 80%.
“Longevity is key for us. We’ve seen companies go into supermarkets and then crash out again. You must build brand equity with consumers first. If this isn’t there, they won’t buy it and it’ll get delisted. You may then be in a worse position than when you started."
Looking to take their business to the next level, FITCH has recently moved into a new brewery in York.
FITCH’s journey started with crowdfunding from Crowdcube and subsequently a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp but Andy says they get a lot more out of the relationship than just the financial support.
He added: “It was a good initiative for us. We got a mentor and it was good to get the money but for us it was about being a part of the community.”
Find out more about how a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp could help transform your business today.