The national thirst for healthier food and drinks has helped young entrepreneur Alex Auger more than double her sales over the last 12 months.
Alex Auger founded ‘The Juice Executive’ in 2014 and has just broken the £1m turnover mark after securing a number of new contract manufacturing orders and the acquisition of ‘Radiance Cleanse’.
The Kent-based manufacturer of cold pressed juices and cleansing packages has taken on another eight people to support its expansion and has also been tapping into the expertise of the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) to help with strategy, structure and process flow.
It is already paying off, with the external guidance contributing to a new management structure that frees her up to focus on business development and securing sales.
Auger explained: “Like most people who start their own business, you can sometimes get weighed down in all the detail and trying to do everything yourself.
“I originally started off in my garage and was dropping samples off to some of the big financial services companies.
“It kind of snowballed since then and the time was right to put in some better practices that will allow me to concentrate on growth, whilst having a structured approach to securing and developing the best talent.”
Auger continued: “We’ve just done the figures and we hit £1.01m in 2017, a £600,000 increase on the previous year.
This has come from more retailers looking for us to contract manufacture their juices and a desire from independent coffee houses keen to co-brand their own great tasting range of juices. The plan is to grow by another 30% in the coming year.”
More than 40 different juices
Juice Executive, which is based in a purpose equipped unit on Revenge Road in Chatham, produces more than 40 different organic juices, covering turmeric, beetroot and orange and ginger.
It currently manufactures 400,000 bottles every year and these are supplied into brands that are listed on Abel & Cole, Ocado and in a host of UK independent retailers looking to stock healthy and great tasting drinks. The firm’s own brands – Think Press and Radiance – are sold direct to consumers online via their own stores, offering nationwide delivery.
The Juice Executive is setting its sights on adding a further £300,000 in sales in 2018 and to continue to growth its white label work and support the launch of a co-branded line that could open up an untapped part of the market.
The Manufacturing Growth Programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and delivered by Economic Growth Solutions (EGS), is promising to fill the void left by the Manufacturing Advice Service (MAS) by providing access to specialist assistance to help manufacturers to grow and improve.
This is being achieved through an 18-strong network of experienced manufacturing growth managers, access to industry specialists and the opportunity to apply for an average grant of £1,400 and rising to a maximum £3,500.
Support can be used for leadership and management, R&D, lean manufacturing, productivity and capacity, quality systems and supply chain development.