Rejuvenation Water produce the world's first amino acid-enriched spring water. Since launching in early 2016, the product has gone from strength to strength - you can find it in over 150 retail outlets, it has won a Great Taste Award, and founder Kris Ingham is now looking to raise £150,000 on Crowdcube. We talk to Kris about how to win a contract with Holland and Barrett, the leading health food shop.

What was it that attracted you to Holland and Barrett as a supplier?

Holland & Barrett had been a milestone listing for us from the very start. Their healthy range of products, coupled with their innovative philosophy, meant they suit Rejuvenation Water perfectly.

How did you find the right person to contact? 

We met at the Lunch show in Islington in September. A number of different range buyers from Holland & Barrett came past our stand and recommended for the drinks buyer to pay us a visit. He wanted to learn more about our USP, our Amino Acid concept, and the level of traction we have developed so far. 

How long did it take between the initial pitch and seeing your product on the shelves?

It's taken around three months. As it was essentially an opportune meeting at a trade show, there wasn't any specific preparation. Following the face to face meeting, we followed up with more samples and supplied specific information around commercials and logistics. We didn't have to change anything about our product. 

Rejuvenation water
Rejuvenation Water are crowdfunding with Tesco BackIt

How did you prepare for the pitching, and what was it like?

It was all pretty spontaneous. When I spoke to the buyer initially, I didn't realise he was from Holland & Barrett. Trade shows do present this challenge on a regular basis. Our product speaks for itself, so the taste caught his attention before I backed it up with the sales pitch

We didn't meet the buyer again - we simply sent samples, spoke over the phone and exchanged emails stating commercials and logistics. They were keen to hit their margin expectations before anything could proceed. Following the confirmation of the listing, we had to fill in a substantial amount of due diligence around our production, health and safety and product liability.

Is there anything you wish you’d know beforehand about the procurement process?

Buyers change roles regularly and I was actually prepared to speak to somebody else. Knowing when these changes take place would have given me a chance to get the pitch in early.

Any tips for other businesses in your position?

Be persistent, even when you get the listing - that's where the real hard work starts. In order to keep the listing and expand the listing further into Holland & Barrett stores you have work hard to promote sales in order to hit hurdle rates (the minimum rate a company expects to earn when investing in a project).

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