Here is a selection of B Corps you can find in ALF, which are likely to be increasing their ad spend or looking for new partners in the coming months:
The plant-based milk alternative and juice brand was recently acquired by Britvic. The brand began life in 2012 from the kitchen of Kara Rosen who made and sold cold-pressed juice direct to consumers. It has since expanded into plant-powered milks and juice shots, tapping into the health foods market. The acquisition helped boost Britvic’s sustainability credentials with Plenish carrying B-Corp status since November 2020. Britvic sources its ingredients from only sustainable organic farms with no additives, and offsets 110% of its carbon emissions.
Plenish is one of the fastest growing plant milks in the UK; and the category itself is expected to be worth more than £500m by 2024. It is becoming an increasingly competitive sector with both FMCG giants and specialised brands expanding into this area. In recent months, Coca-Cola launched a range of Simply Almond & Oat milks; Nestlé unveiled its pea milk Wunda; and Linda McCartney announced the roll out of oat, soya, rice and coconut milks. Plenish will benefit from Britvic’s strong relationships with retailers, supply chain and distribution, while Britvic will gain from Plenish’s expertise in plant-based nutrition, direct-to-consumer and digital marketing. The company has already announced plans to expand the brand’s range in stores where it already has a presence, including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, Ocado and Amazon. Plenish spent £737k on advertising in 2020, all of which was invested in digital. Britvic will be putting investment behind this acquisition and is looking for significant growth. Managing director Paul Graham said: ‘We are absolutely confident the product stands up to scrutiny against rivals in the category and it is differentiated in terms of the clean label, best-in-class ingredients, as well as the high nut content and lack of added oils and gums often found in dairy alternatives.’
From manufacturing bamboo toilet roll and kitchen roll to a whole host of eco-friendly household products that can be delivered on a subscription or one-off basis, Cheeky Panda achieved B-Corp status in July 2019, providing an alternative to one of the biggest environmental concerns of present-day: deforestation. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world, whereas trees can take 18 years to grow. WARC research found that the majority of people say they’re willing to pay more for sustainable brands but many also wonder why they should have to. Though a 9-pack of Cheeky Panda toilet rolls costs over £7, the brand offsets this by running a Panda Points loyalty scheme where customers can redeem points for products, exclusive goodies or charity donations.
Cheeky Panda spent just shy of £700k on advertising in 2020, predominantly on press and digital. It does not currently work with an agency. This is another category seeing increased competition from the bigger players, including Europe’s third largest manufacturer of hygiene paper, WEPA, which has launched its FeelGood toilet paper in the UK. Feel Good tissue, made from waste office paper, recycled magazines and retail catalogues, undercuts Cheeky Panda at £4.45 for 9 rolls, and is kicking off a supporting marketing campaign this month. Another B Corp, Who Gives a Crap, has a similar offering. Toilet tissue sales grew by 7.4% in value and 6.6% in volume last year thanks to pandemic stockpiling. Cheeky Panda’s grew by 200% in 2020 with sales exceeding £5m. The brand recently raised £2m worth of investment and will be looking to advertise to secure its share of the market.
Gaining its B Corp status in June 2020 for its efforts in tackling food waste, the brand rescues fruit and veg that doesn’t live up to supermarket standards or is surplus to the hospitality industry and delivers direct to consumers on a subscription basis. The business saves on water, Co2 emissions and picks up old boxes to recycle when delivering a new one. It also partners with City Harvest and The Felix Project to tackle food poverty. Oddbox spent £288k on advertising last year, with the majority invested in digital ads, and the remainder in direct mail and door drop. Founded in 2016, the brand’s manifesto is to encourage people to ‘eat good, do good, and stay odd’. According to Deloitte, 39% of people said they bought more locally produced goods and 45% bought more seasonal produce in 2020. Oddbox sources its wonky veg from UK farms as a priority.
The business raised £3m in fundraising last year and has since appointed Journey Further to oversee digital strategy, paid search, display and paid social advertising. It also began searching for a PR agency in January.
The brand grew by 400% in 2020 and has so far this year undergone a rebrand and enhanced its customer experience by offering educational information on food waste and climate change, updated recipe ideas, and detailed the exact impact a purchase has had on food waste reduction, Co2 emissions and saving water.
Oddbox also has competition from fellow B Corp Riverford Organic Farmers which delivers organic and locally-sourced seasonal veg on a subscription basis. It became employee-owned in 2018, uses solar energy and has switched to home-compostable packaging. Riverford spent almost the same amount on advertising last year (£265k) but instead focussed its efforts on outdoor and door
drop. Riverford saw phenomenal growth in 2020 with sales jumping 13.5% in the year to April. Both companies will be looking to stay ahead of the competition in the coming months and retain the business they have earned during the pandemic.
Founder of the vegan ready meal delivery business Jonathan Petrides recently won Start up Entrepreneur of the Year at the Food & Drink Heroes awards, and achieved the brand’s B Corp accreditation in 2018 thanks to its hand-cooked, plant-based frozen food’s minimal impact on the planet. Jonathan founded the business with his brother Alex, the former brand director of Propercorn (also a registered B Corp). Last year, the brand raised £4.5m thanks to 1,800 local and venture capital firms Felix Capital and Octopus Ventures. This was the largest crowdfund on record by a vegan business. With many customers moving their deliveries from every four to six weeks to weekly, the pandemic forced Allplants to pause marketing to focus on meeting demand. So far in 2021, Allplants has launched its first TV advertising campaign and expanded into frozen vegan lunches. Since its inception, Allplants has grown its meal options from six to 40, now including light meals and a Sunday roast. It spent £527k on advertising in 2020, 79% of which supported its TV ad. The remainder was spent on press and digital. The company is launching further Growth Capital funding later this year as the business aims ‘to become a global brand, take its offering into offline environments and penetrate households in Europe, North America and beyond by 2025’. 30% of people surveyed by Deloitte said they had reduced their animal product consumption in the past year. Allplants is poised to capitalise on this growing market.
D2C frozen ready meals are increasing in popularity, and Allplants has competition from fellow B Corp Cook Trading. The gourmet, hand-prepared ready meal manufacturer and winner of numerous Great Taste awards saw sales increase by £64m year on year, to £72.8m, and its operating profit almost double to £4.4m in the year to 31 March 2020. The business is aiming to boost capacity by 80% and to double sales within five years by extending its kitchen and adding to its existing 89 physical stores, whilst expanding into retail parks. Cook spent £53k on advertising in 2020 and £291k in 2019, and traditionally focuses its efforts on door drop and direct mail.
Becoming the first travel company to be awarded the B Corp status, Intrepid is a founding member of the Travel by B Corp group. The largest small groups adventure travel company in the world is headquartered in Melbourne and offers trips that include public transport, local food and local lodging. It is currently one of only five B Corp travel companies in the UK. Over the years it has made many bold moves, often long before its competitors, that demonstrate its responsible travel credentials including becoming a carbon neutral business in 2010, banning elephant rides in 2014 and helping rebuild Nepal following the 2015 earthquake. Shortly before earning its B Corp status in 2018, it launched vegan tours, and in October 2020 became the first and only tour operator in the world with verified science-based climate targets, operating in line with a 1.5°C future championed by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Like all travel companies Intrepid suffered during the pandemic, reporting a pre-tax loss of A$26m compared to a profit of A$21.5m in 2019 which had been its fourth consecutive year of growth. However James Thornton, Intrepid’s chief executive, is optimistic about the coming months, stating that large parts of the business’ core markets have remained financially secure and adding that ‘during
hibernation we have reimagined the Intrepid of the future.’ The company has a revised 2025 strategy and is aiming to become the world’s first A$1bn travel company thanks to the largest investment in its 32-year history from French family business Genairgy. This year, Intrepid has plans to expand its sustainable local trips, introduce an Intrepid Premium offering and unveil a ‘new-look tone and vibrant style’. It has continued its decarbonization work, offering more than 40 low-carbon alternative tours including closer-to-home adventures, and walking and cycling trips. It will also ditch flights of 90 minutes or less for train or road alternatives across its top 50 tours next year.
With Gen Z adopting more sustainable behaviours than any other demographic and 45% not purchasing certain brands because of ethical or sustainability concerns, young travellers will be looking for solutions that balance their desire to travel with their conscience. With the demise of student travel business STA Travel last year, Intrepid’s 18-29s travel offering is well positioned to step up to the plate.
After the pandemic halted travel abroad, many will be rushing to jet off when restrictions are lifted. However, with lockdown making people even more conscious of the environment, many will be re-evaluating the impact their vacations have on the planet. A YouGov poll, for example, found that 30% of people plan to fly less after Covid. Intrepid’s sustainable credentials mean it is well-placed to benefit from the post-pandemic recovery of the travel sector. The business spent £152k on advertising in 2020 and £1.3m in 2019, mostly on digital ads.
In 2015, there were less than 100 B Corps in the UK. There are now more than 430 across 48 industries, with a combined revenue of £4.3bn. The UK has the second largest B Corp community in the world. In 2020, B-Lab found that SME B Corps have an average turnover growth of 24% compared to 3% for all SMEs, and that 65% of B Corp SMEs who sought equity finance secured all (or more) of the required amount, compared to 56% of all SMEs.
Here are the other B Corps brands you can find in ALF:
Danone | Danone Waters |Innocent |Pukka Herbs |Vita Coco |Cafedirect |Charlie Bigham’s |Epicurean Dairy |Graze |Wessanen |Mindful Chef | Abel & Cole | Brewdog | Camden Town Brewery | Lily’s Kitchen | Allbirds | The Body Shop | Abundance Investment |Bulb | Habito |Simply Business |Joseph Homes |Guardian Media Group
By Natalie Fedden
Senior Content Executive, ALF