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New Prosecco mixer smashes crowdfunding target

A boozy fruit coulis designed as a mixer for Prosecco has become the first product to win funding through Tesco’s new crowd-funding platform – smashing its target by 200%.

Drunken Berries, which was set up by husband and wife team Gemma and Andre Glanville and launched in July, has more than doubled its target on the Tesco BackIt funding website, which aims to gives small food and drink businesses the opportunity to showcase and sample products in stores, gain feedback from consumers, and experience working with retailers. It also allows small companies to campaign for funding to drive growth – but the businesses who sign up are not obliged to list or work with Tesco after the campaign.

The couple have raised more than £4,000 which they intend to put towards establishing an e-commerce site and social media advertising campaign, while the extra funding will allows them to ramp up their attendance at trade and consumer shows, including next months’ BBC Good Food Show at Olympia, in order to start building retail listings in 2017.

As yet, the company hasn’t signed any retails listings, however its two product – a Raspberry Gin and a Blackberry Brandy Prosecco Mixer – have already won one two star and a one star Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food and widely recognised as the benchmark for fine and speciality food. Owner Andrew Glanville told db the inspiration had been to produce a lower alcohol mixer for Prosecco  – it has an abv of 5% – which could act as an alternative to liqueurs, to make a drink akin to a Bellini.  Prior to developing the Prosecco mixer, the couple had made jams and coulis.

There is potential to boost production, which is carried out by a third party producer in Chichester, Glanville said, and he is keen to see it go on shelf. Currently, around 450 bottles are made per batch, but this can be increased to 1,980 as it takes on new listing.

“Our production partner is fostering us, but there is potential to ramp production up and they can accommodate us,” he said.

Gemma Glanville added she was optimistic she and her husband could turn the Drunken Berries into a “winning brand” on the back of the Prosecco boom. Having achieved their target on BackIt they are set to benefit from six months’ mentoring with a large company who can assist them in building the brand and establishing successful marketing campaigns, with mentors including BrewDog, St Austall Brewery and Propercorn.

Tesco business development director Michael Francis said it was great to see its first product on BackIt surpass its target.

He argued that the retailer understood the challenges suppliers face to get a new product to market, adding: “BackIt is about more than just crowd funding, it’s a platform which provides advice and mentoring to help suppliers bring their ideas to life.”

“By providing support for small suppliers, they can focus on what they do best – creating exciting new innovative products for customers.”

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