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When I took my virgin sip of an Innocent Smoothie I was sure I was going to be sent straight to hell for enjoying such decadence, delights and unashamed desire for more, more, MORE!! However, upon reading the ingredients I found that it was not the smokey bowels of hell that I would be frequenting but the glorious gates of heaven, for Innocent Smoothie are packed full of fabulous fruit and nothing else!
I knew I just had to write a review as soon as possible to spread the word but when I came to my new found love that is Ciao, I found that I was a bit behind the times as there were loads of reviews already! Alas, alack! No need for a review after all :-(. But wait! On reading some of the reviews I found an angle that others had not yet mentioned, so here it is - my review!
What seems to have been overlooked by other reviewers is the fact the folks at Innocent are a really funny, innovative and ethical bunch of people! I have found, after drinking one of their scrumptious smoothies, that not only were my taste buds tingling and that my stomach was feeling tum-tastic but I was inspired to look further at recycling and filled with a bubbling sense of fun!
I am not sure about the packaging on the rest of their range, but if they are anything like the packaging on the 1 litre cartons then you are in for a treat! Each carton is a journey through a bright, colourful, informative and very giggly world! So, "What is she ranting on about?", I hear you cry?!
Well, I shan't write chapter and verse about each funny bit as I feel it is important that you find the funnies yourself but as a little taster (pardon the pun) here are a couple of choice funnies that I have found:
'Keep Britain tidy. Tuck your shirt in, comb your hair and give your shoes a bit of a polish.'
'Once opened consume within 4 days or we'll come round and get you.'
The packaging itself is also refreshing. The cartons are cream in colour, with the Innocent logo (a little squiggle face with two eyes and a halo) in varying colours depending on the flavour of the drink on the front. The sides vary but follow a basic format of the ingredients on the back with pictures of the fruit included and the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) information, on one side there is a more detailed list of ingredients, nutritional values, how to look after your smoothie and how to contact them and on the other side is a section with some wittily written information about the product.
Overall the packaging is colourful, eye catching and entertaining.
Another thing I love about Innocent, is the fact that they are concerned with their impact on the environment. If you look at the top of the carton (in the triangular folded area) you will find the website for the page on their website about recycling. Here it tells you how to recycle the cartons which are made by Tetra Pak. Most Council recycling schemes do not recycle Tetra Pak cartons which is a huge shame as so many products make use of these cartons (Innocent are running a campaign to encourage Councils to accept Tetra Pak cartons and have provided a letter template for you to download and send off). Innocent have located a firm in Fife who can recycle Tetra Paks and give details of how to do so on their site. In addition to this the Innocent website gives details of how much of each form of packaging is made from recycled materials and how, where the product is not made from 100% recycled materials, they are trying to achieve this. I think it is a rare and wonderful thing to find a company in the world today who seems to be genuinely concerned about the impact they have on the environment and have the commitment to follow through with their policies and put them into action.
Regarding their website, I have to confess that I am not a techno-wizard, so can't comment on how super-wizzo it is! However, I can tell you that I find it clear, bright, easy to use and filled with similar humour that is displayed on the cartons. It is also highly informative and gives you details on all the products, the company history, their ethics, the Innocent Foundation (a grant giving organisation set up by Innocent to 'work with local communities to create a sustainable future for people and their environment' which works with people in the countries where they source the fruit that goes in the smoothies), general news about Innocent, job opportunities and so on.
Talking of the company history, there is a section on the site that gives brief details which I will now relay in an even briefer format! The company is approximately five years old and was set up by the owners (I can't work out who they are or how many there are of them but I think they are two blokes) when they realised that the majority of us have good intentions but due to life getting in the way, we don't look after ourselves as much as we should. So they decided to make life easier for us and make Innocent Smoothies which are packed full of pure and fresh fruit with no added anything (hence the name) to help us to easily achieve our 'five a day' and generally feel great . If you want more information about the company they provide an email contact.
And if you've been thinking "Well, that doesn't sound so great.", then think again because on top of all of this they run a FREE festival each year called Fruitstock in Regent's Park, London to say thanks to everyone for drinking their drinks. This year it is on the 5th and 6th of August and I shall be going along with some friends, my husband and the ever lovely Daisy! If I am brave enough to take on such a thing I will do a review about it! Fruitstock promises live music, posh food and drink stalls, a farmer's market, a kids area and much, much more! In addition to enjoying yourself you can help to raise loads of money for their chosen charity, Well Child (who work to find ways to prevent and cure childhood disease and improve the treatment that sick children receive, and also work really hard to support the families of sick children).
For those of you who like a bit of detailed product information, please find below the details of the first Smoothie I tasted (I can't say it is my favourite because each new one I taste I love just as much as the last, so they are all my favourites!):
Nutritional info per 100ml: Energy 220kj/52 cal; Protein 0.5g; Carbohydrate 13.4g; (of which sugars) 10.8g; Fat less than 0.1g; (of which saturates) less than 0.1g; Fibre 2.3g; Sodium 1mg; Vitamin C 26mg (43% RDA per 100ml)
So are there any down sides? Well I am reluctant to say anything as I love them sooo much but I must be fair to all you readers. I have identified three downsides:
1 - they are a bit pricey (their recommended retail prices are £1.75 - 1.99 for 250ml smoothies and thickies, £1.49 - 1.69 for 420ml really lovely juices and Juicy Waters; £3.29 for one litre cartons and £2.99 for four 180ml kids' drinks) but a) they are most definitely worth it and b) they are often on special offer, or at least they are in my local Tesco.
2 - they are so yummy that you feel compelled to drink loads of the stuff thus gaining your months Recommend Allowance worth of fruit in approximately 30 minutes which is lovely but can be a bit shocking
Pictures of Innocent Smoothie
Smoothies big cartons - 1 litre.
when it makes its natural journey through your body…if you get what I mean! This is easily overcome by showing some restraint!
3 - most of the smoothies I have encountered so far contain oranges. This does not impair the flavour at all but it is a big problem for my Mum as she is allergic to oranges! I haven't fully investigated the whole range, so I am sure there will be something suitable for my Mum, it is just sad that she won't know the joy of Cranberries & Raspberries or Pineapples, Bananas & Coconuts! I must ensure you that Innocent do cater for a wide range of tastes and needs, so I don't really hold them responsible for not providing lots and lots of smoothies that are suitable for my Mum!
So, overall, I can thoroughly recommend Innocent Smoothies for their total yummyness and goodness and the Innocent company for it's ethical practices, humour and wonderfully creative talents!
**UPDATE** While reading my House Beautiful magazine recently I noticed a small article advising that the lovely people at Innocent have brought out a recipe book! How exciting! I rushed to my pc to check out their website (www.innocentdrinks.co.uk) for more details. A link on their site takes you to amazon where you can buy the new book. In addition to this, joy of joy, I found they did a book a couple of years ago as well! I have not read either of them, yet, but have included a brief extract from the information on amazon, along with prices, below for your information.
57 and a half great smoothie recipes
ISBN: 000721376X RRP £12.99 Amazon price £7.79
Excerpt from Amazon: "At Innocent, taste comes before anything else, so this new juicing recipe book focuses on great-tasting drinks made using combinations of healthy ingredients that actually taste great. Simple, clean and uncluttered in terms of design, filled with gorgeous photographs and written in the recognisable Innocent tone, this book will be a joy to hold and own for anyone serious about good health and great taste."
Stay Healthy, Be Lazy: An Easy Detox
ISBN: 0752215957 RRP £5.99 Amazon price £3.99
Excerpt from Amazon: "With this easy detox you'll learn how to change the bad habits of a lifetime - in just five days. There are no scary fads - carbohydrates and dairy are fine, drinking your own pee is not recommended, and alcohol is allowed. But after five days you'll be drinking lots of water, eating lots of fruit, veg and fibre and cutting down on bad fat. You'll have learnt how to exercise at your desk and clean out your cluttered brain, leaving you feeling vibrantly healthy. "
I wanted to rate you E because you really captured what Innocent is about, but there is not quite enough about the flavour. Mention a few more things about that, eg. how much better this tastes that juices from Concentrate, or something...and I might re-rate! I guess seeing as you didn't mention it you haven't encountered the note inside the packet?! I was dismantling a carton once because I was going to recycle it and inside one of the flaps at the top (where you wouldn't normally see unless you were deliberately taking the carton apart) it said "Nosey!" That cracked me up!!
juliet_bravo 24.10.2006 16:42
Great review!!! I never fancied these before as I thought they might be too sickly but I might just try one now!!!!
bigwibble6 21.10.2006 00:44
I like all the detail about the company and everything. Very full, of info and fun