Pandemic drives healthy drinks business Purearth’s global growth

By Kavitha Sivasubramaniam

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Kefir Purearth Juice functional beverage beverage

With an ethos “to help people live healthier lives by using what nature provides us in its most pure and organic form”, British health drinks company Purearth has imminent expansion plans.

Founded by Angelina Riccio and Tenna Anette, two friends with a passion for health and nutrition who started making juices for friends in their kitchens, the business started in 2012 and three years later introduced what it believes to be the UK’s first water kefirs.

It claims just one 270ml bottle contains 27 billion live cultures “which your gut and entire body will love”.

Now marking its twentieth anniversary this year, Purearth has grown exponentially since Covid. It’s enjoyed triple-digit sales growth year on year as the pandemic prompted people to start looking for healthy, immune-boosting products.

It offers a wide variety of juice cleanses, water kefirs, shots, broths and much more. These products have become more popular as health-conscious consumers demand beverages that not only taste great, but also have other benefits.

The business has turned over €1.2m (£1m) in the past 12 months – a milestone for any growing venture – and in the same period it’s had more than a million visitors to its website.

Pure products

Purearth products include everything from seven-day highly intensive juice cleanses retailing around the €360 - €540 (£300-£450) mark to 60ml health shots which are on sale for €3 (£2.49).

It believes it is unique in offering customers beverages that are organic and GMO-free, plant-based, healthy, sustainable, innovative and no-nonsense (but lots of fun).

Purearth’s General Manager Paul Gurnell says: “We use all natural, fully organic products, which are intentionally designed to help rid the bodies of toxins.

“There's a very scientific process that that your body goes through when you do that cleanse, and primarily what you're doing is taking out old cells and renewing them.

“All of us are leading very busy, hectic lives and we don't have the routines of sitting down to family meals three times a day that we used to.

“Therefore, we need to bring balance into our lives and help our bodies by giving them the best chance of keeping strong, but also keeping ourselves mentally and physically able.

“Our products really are a shortcut, offering an easy way of doing that on a daily basis at a really accessible price point in a fun and delicious way.

“The drinks all are designed to not only be functional but to taste great, and that for us is a key point. We’re not there to be a medicinal product, we’re there to be an enjoyable healthy drink.”

A sustainable future

Purearth products are sold direct to consumer, through retailers such as Whole Foods and Planet Organic, as well as wholesalers too.

There is also growing uptake in food service and hospitality channels, so a number of hotels, cafes and bars are now stocking the products.

The drinks are currently manufactured in the UK and Portugal, but it may look towards more localised production depending on future market demands.

It takes pride in ensuring all its packaging is 100% recyclable and it doesn’t use polystyrene to ship its products.

Gurnell adds: “We don't use any other materials to insulate our boxes other than recyclable cardboard and paper.

“For us, that sets us apart from our competition and that's something that people are really questioning now.

“We have a lot of our customers say we really like your products because we think the packaging is great and we can throw it straight into the recycling bin and there's no waste so that for us is something that will be key.”

In September 2021, Purearth expanded into the Far East. This year, it has plans to enter the US market next month (February), followed by the Middle East soon after.

Gurnell says: “At the moment we're 98% UK based. We're expecting that to change this year to around about 90%/10% split, and then obviously in subsequent years that will start to develop even more.”

While Covid has undoubtedly heightened people's interest in its range of products, Gurnell has no concerns that the novelty might wear off.

He says: “Every piece of research that I've read is showing continued awareness of the benefits of healthy diets and you only have to look at the broader market.

“People are reducing their meat consumption because they feel it’s not great for them as individuals to eat too much meat, but also realise that it’s not good for the environment either.

“I don't think people’s perceptions towards trying to become healthier and wanting to do the right thing will change, and we fit nicely with the whole plant-based revolution because we are completely vegan and plant-based.”

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