People’s Champion finalist 2018: Nix & Kix

This new drinks brand has created a cayenne pepper drink that’s replaced sugar with spice. Could it be your People’s Champion?

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Start-up name: Nix & Kix
Founders: Kerstin Robinson and Julia Kessler
Started in: October 2014
Based in: London
Business description: Soft drinks for adults with cayenne pepper

Shortlisted categories:

The Start Up Loans Company Inspiring Entrepreneur of the Year, Crowdfunded Business of the Year

The Nix & Kix story:

Out on the town and in need of a non-alcoholic drink, Kerstin Robinson and Julia Kessler found nothing to quench their particular thirst.

They realised the adult drinks market was missing a more grown-up, less sweet soft drink, without added chemicals or artificial sweetener. But most importantly, something that tasted good.

After deciding to replace the sugar rush with a spice kick, the pair spent months experimenting in the evenings and letting people try their creations for free on the weekends.

They put aside concerns that going into business could risk their friendship, quit their corporate jobs, and started making their drinks in a little sandwich shop in central London, which allowed them to stock their creations in the cold cabinet.

Here they were able to gather customer feedback and refine their product, giving them the confidence to take out a Start Up Loan and scale up production. And boy have they scaled it…

Today, Nix & Kix can be found in Tesco, Waitrose, Spar and Ocado in the UK as well as retailers in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland.

Its drinks have recently been rolled out to the whole Wagamama estate, The Restaurant Group and all 33 Giraffe restaurants. They are available in hundreds of office canteens across the UK including LinkedIn, Facebook and the BBC.

Global success is already beckoning: the largest supermarket chain in South Korea have agreed to stock the drinks and conversations are already taking place with retail chains, importers and distributors in the US.

It’s all part of the brand’s strategy to diversify and not rely solely on the retail sector.

Why Nix & Kix made our shortlist:

Robinson and Kessler have proved that it’s possible to create a delicious soft drink without packing it full of sugar or anything artificial. Its rapid growth in a number of establishments and sales avenues is proof that sweet-toothed consumers everywhere are open to trying something a little different. The start-up looks certain to consolidate its already exceptional growth.

Where to find out more about Nix & Kix:


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