This will have all the branding/marketing students frothing away in their bedsits. Innocent has struck up a trial deal to supply some branches McDonalds with fresh and delicious vitamin-packed kids smoothies.
It’s an interesting one – innocent’s whole thing is projecting an (eco)friendly home-spun image without anything so filthy as money tainting the brand. They make those drinks because they love us and want us to be happy, don’t they? Well yes, they probably do – but they don’t give them away for free either. Hooking up with McD’s just highlights the more commercial side of things – perhaps that’s what’s upsetting people so much.
If it means that kids will drink something instead of fizzy crap… But no, even though I realise that innocent already sell through big names like Tesco’s and Starbucks, this deal with the Golden Arches feels different. Kinda grubby.
I’ve argued it round in my head a few times and all I can come up with is that innocent is very likely to be damaged by its association with McD’s (and definitely not vice versa). It’s a real shame – I’ve been a big fan of fruity happiness in little bottles for a long time. Those clever labels that make you smile, the strong ethical values and friendly persona… They’ve not put a foot wrong until now, which is pretty impressive really.
Unfortunately, whatever ‘good’ innocent thinks it can do for people with this deal, whatever its best intentions, it will all be far outweighed by the general perception (rightly or wrongly) of the company as a sell-out. And it’s always harder to undo bad publicity, so they say.
Guess it will be interesting to see what happens next – it’s certainly generated a lot of comment on the innocent blog.
And, to counteract the gloom, here's an interview with the first lady of organic food and just plain good eating - Alice Waters, we are not worthy. Although that's a bit of a scary photo.