Bottle Green

Bottlegreen manufactures and distributes a range of natural, healthy adult soft drinks, distributed through the leading major multiples and the foodservice sector.

The business was set up in 1989 by Kit and Shireen Morris who employed their wine making skills to develop the now iconic Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial using a cold press process.

This process enables the business to produce products that have a uniquely clean and pure taste.

Challenge

By 2007, when Piper backed the incumbent Managing Director Simon Speers in the management buy out, Kit and Shireen had decided they wished to return to wine making. They felt that the business could flourish even more successfully with professional management in place and further investment into the packaging and marketing of the brand.

Of his decision to select Piper as partners, Simon Speers wrote, “It was clear that Piper had a genuine passion for brand building. The fact that they ran their own focus groups with our customers and toured the stores with me amongst other things communicated that passion”.

Support

During the course of the investment in Bottlegreen, Piper was able to support the
business by:

  • Using customer research to help define the brands positioning
  • Providing marketing resource to lead the logo and packaging rebranding
  • Introducing both a Financial Director and Marketing Director
  • Ensuring the business focused on driving Bottlegreen branded sales
  • Driving core product development and targeting focused NPD
  • Building strong relationships with targeted trade buyers, achieving a pre-emptive bid at exit

When Piper came in they said they were passionate about brands. They demonstrated their passion better than I could ever have imagined

Steve Davies, Chairman, Bottlegreen

The journey

1989 Kit and Shireen start manufacturing elderflower cordials in their kitchen to sell locally
2000 Bottlegreen is listed in Waitrose
2007 Piper invests. Sales £8.2m. EBIT £1.0m
2008 New Bottlegreen branding and packaging is launched
2009 Bottlegreen builds its international business in Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand
2011 Piper exits. Sales £13.5m. EBIT £2.5m. Bottlegreen is bought by SHS, the Irish drinks group who own a number of successful brands including Shloer, Merrydown and WKD

Current investments