How to start a beverage business

Have a terrific business idea for a great new drinks brand? Read this step-by-step guide which covers all the basics to starting a beverage business...

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What is a beverage business and who is it suited to?
What should you include in a beverage business plan?
Rules and regulations for starting a beverage business
How much does it cost to start a beverage business?
How much can you earn running your own beverage business?
Tips and useful contacts

What is a beverage business and who is it suited to?

The UK beverage market has plenty of established players but that’s not to say that it’s immune to innovation and change, which is why there’s a great opportunity to be had if you want to start a drinks brand.

In fact, many businesses have launched recently with unique business models, new approaches and some downright crazy ideas for drinks which are going some way to transforming the way we see the sector.

Take pioneering beverage developer Brainwave Drinks Ltd. for example. Founded by Richard Baister, named a Young Gun in 2012 as the creator of calorie burning drinks brand SUMO Drinks, Brainwave Drinks has two distinct offerings: Brainwave; claimed to be the world’s first drink to combat cognitive decline and ProWater; a high protein water brand.

However, your beverage business doesn’t have to be at the cutting edge of science to stand out as Startups Awards 2016 finalist Pinkster Gin demonstrates. Pinkster is an artisan gin brand made with British raspberries to give it unique pink colouring and taste.

Founder of Pinkster Gin, Will Holt, explains: “Over 95% of traditional gins are clear. Ours is pink because it’s produced with fresh raspberries. This disruptive approach and quirky branding has given us colossal stand-out in a highly competitive marketplace”.

Or, as in the case of Ken Graham, founder of Soda Folk, it might be the case that you launch a beverage business inspired by travel. Graham started his business for a taste of home: “If you can find a “problem” to solve within the business, then you might be suited to being a beverage entrepreneur. In my case, I wasn’t able to find good American-style root beer when I moved to London from the USA, a problem I managed to solve by starting Soda Folk”.

The beverage market is “highly competitive” warns founder of Virtue Energy Water Rahi Daneshmand. His range of “positive energy” drinks contains zero sugar, calories and sweeteners and only uses natural sources of energy from yerba maté, guarana and ginseng.

Daneshmand adds that while “it will involve a lot of persistence and determination to break” into the drinks sector, “a beverage business is suited to anyone who is passionate about creating new drinks and improving consumer’s lifestyles through the development of their brand”.

If this sounds like you, read on to find out how to create the perfect business plan for your beverage brand…