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What connects Spirulina, Guarana and Baobab?

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

All three are ingredients in Innocent smoothies, a leading manufacturer of fruit-based drinks that are now owned by Coca-Cola. Moving away from traditional fruit-based ingredients, the company, who promises to be 'Good to the Core', has added powder derived from green tea leaves, climbing plants from the Amazon basin and blue/green algae from select lakes to their concentrated bottles of goodness.

Three friends started the company over 20 years ago when they decided to sell their smoothie drinks at a music festival in London. Once customers had drunk their drink, they were then requested to vote as to whether they enjoyed their drinks by putting their bottle in one of two bins. The first, meant 'Yes, quit your current job to make smoothies full time'. The other bin, 'No, don't give up the day job, just yet'. Punters were overwhelmingly positive, and the three followed the suggestions of the concert goers and started the company now known as Innocent smoothies.

From bananas to berries to botanicals, the company has gone from strength to strength, and Innocent has become 'Intriguing' in their use of ingredients. Spirulina, for example, was discovered by Aztecs in the 16th Century as a rich source of nutrients. Indeed, scientists are now looking for it to be included in the dietary support for long term space missions to distant planets. And yet, it is described on the smoothie packaging as only ‘a splash of spirulina’ extract, so a little goes a long way!

There is even less Guarana (0.01%) in their energiser smoothies, such is the potency of it. Sitting alongside cherries, blackcurrants and grap