Belvoir Fruit Farms
- Sector: Food & Drink
- Region: East Midlands
Belvoir Fruit Farms is a family-run business that makes a range of premium soft drinks aimed at adults, including cordials, lightly sparkling pressés and alcohol-free ‘wines without the hangover’. All these drinks are handmade and bottled on the farm using only natural ingredients – and the lack of artificial colourings, preservatives, additives or sweeteners is something that resonates with today’s consumer.
“Where possible we use British-grown ingredients,” emphasises Managing Director Pev Manners, “and for the product for which we are best known – Elderflower Cordial – we use elderflowers harvested from our own 80 acres of plantations or picked from the local hedgerows”.
To an extent, Belvoir’s success is a result of being in the right place at the right time, believes Pev. “We’ve been able to benefit from the growing consumer interest in provenance and artisan brands,” he explains. “Consumers are seeking smaller brands with a good story behind them.”
“We’ve been able to benefit from the growing consumer interest in provenance and artisan brands. Consumers are seeking smaller brands with a good story behind them” - Pev Manners, Managing Director, Belvoir Fruit Farms
Sales have stayed buoyant despite the tough economic climate of recent years and export sales have also been going well – they now account for more than 16% of total sales and Belvoir’s drinks can be found across continental Europe, the Middle East, the US, China and Japan. In 2015, the company opened a new bottling line to help meet this growing demand.
“Our drinks have always been premium and positioned as a treat, so UK sales have remained relatively consistent despite the economic downturn, while our burgeoning export market has helped boost overall sales,” says Pev.
- 16% - Export sales account for this proportion of the firm’s total sales
For the same reason, public concerns about sugar content and the imminent imposition of a sugar tax is not such a big issue for Belvoir. Even so, the company has launched a range of light pressés that contain 30% less sugar than standard recipes. Pev says these pressés are selling well, “so the sugar debate has created new opportunities for us too!”