UK smoothie firm Savsé targets Irish expansion
Company hopes to secure deals with Musgraves and Tesco in bid to increase revenue
Savsé smoothie founder Guka Tavberidze with his mother, Nina, the inspiration behind the brand.
UK smoothie group Savsé, the first cold-pressed smoothie brand in Ireland, is targeting deals with Musgraves and Tesco in a bid to increase the size of its operation here to comprise between 5 and 10 per cent of its overall turnover.
“The aim would be to grow the [Irish] market significantly over the next year. We want to get the product into as many customer’s hands as possible,” Paul Gurnell, the company’s head of sales told The Irish Times.
The company launched in the UK in 2013 as an alternative healthy smoothie option.
While Ireland is a small proportion of Savsé’s business so far, the company says it is becoming more important. “The health trend in Ireland is accelerating at a rate faster than elsewhere,” chief executive Guka Tavberidze said.
Mr Tavberidze set up the business to find a natural alternative to the high levels of sugar typically in smoothie products.
“I believed it could be done a lot better,” he said. “I was a normal average guy with a dream of taking on the giants.”
Unlike other smoothie brands, Savsé uses non-thermal high-pressure processing to make the juice. This allows it to use ingredients like kale, broccoli and spinach, which couldn’t be used if the company used the traditional large-scale method of making smoothies.
Despite intense competition in the market from the likes of Innocent and Naked, Mr Tavberidze believes his company can succeed. “We have the best product on the market,” he boasted.
The company took a hit after last year’s Brexit vote. Savsé’s factory was located in the EU and a change to exchange rates negatively impacted the company’s profitability. The most recent accounts available dating to the end of September 2016 show that it made trading losses of more than £3 million, an increase of 88 per cent on the previous year.
Mr Gurnell said the company is returning to profitability having moved its factory operations back to the UK.
The smoothie company has also received the backing of AGC equity partners, which is believed to have taken a stake of more than 25 per cent.