What’s the deal with smoothie copy?

The other day I reached into the office fridge and pulled out a Coldpress smoothie. I hadn’t heard of them before either. Check them out here.

So far, so good – right? Well, I got on with the business of drinking said smoothie and that was all fine. But then I decided to read the label to find out what was in it, etc. This is what I saw.

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Ugh. I just mean… ugh. What’s going on here?

Firstly, don’t patronise me, smoothie. Sure, I’m not a specialist in High Pressure Processing, but please don’t assume that it’s going to go over my head. The phrase “a little whizzy” kind of implies I’m some kind of dumb pleb who gets flustered at the sound of anything at all scientific sounding.

And the explanation given is weak as hell. Apparently High Pressure Processing is “the freshest, gentlest and most nutritious way to let fruit smoothies flaunt their inner frutiness.” Sure, opting not to go for an oxford comma after gentlest is something I can let slide. But I can’t understand why they thought it was necessary to provide this “explanation.”

Read it again. We’re told there’s this thing called High Pressure Processing. It’s a technical term, so you’d expect a definition to follow. Maybe High Pressure Processing (HPP) is a cold pasteurization technique by which products, already sealed in its final package, are introduced into a vessel and subjected to a high level of isostatic pressure (300–600MPa/43,500-87,000psi) transmitted by water. Nope! Instead we’re told it’s just the thing that makes the smoothie taste so yummy and lovely.

In fact, this sentence would make more sense if it was reversed. Cf. “What gives our smoothies the freshest, gentlest and most nutritious taste possible? It’s all thanks to a special process called High Pressure Processing.” This sentence actually has a logical form in which some X is presented, and followed by an explanation Y. This is a natural explanatory form, which the original lacks. So the content alone is inane.

Then there’s the font. Quite possibly VAG Rounded – the only slightly more sensible cousin of comic sans – it’s just meant to scream friendliness and *shudder* loveliness.

Because that’s the word, right? Brands want to be LOVELY. Which brings me to my main point, and my real target here.

Hello innocent. Aren’t you just lovely?

Coldpress may be awful and banal, but they’re simply following in the footsteps of innocent. They don’t even really do a good job of differentiating themselves, they’re just treading the same old formula that made innocent all that money.

What do I mean by that? Well, simply that innocent have this thing where they pretend to be the “good guys.” The theme matches their drinks, which themselves are free of anything fake or nasty (apart from tons of sugar of course, that life-giving health supplement helping our children grow up to be big and strong). Their whole brand is centred around this – being nice and lovely and everything. They even have photos of animals on the bottles – who could hate that?

innocent is over 90% owned by Coca-Cola. They made £12m in profit in 2012.

They’re not really your best friend. But their marketing is super successful. So you think they are.

And I’m not really criticising them (I mean, whatever works right?). I’m just more annoyed that it’s created a copycat copy culture in smoothies. Coldpress are a great example of this, but there are others too.

Take Naked Juice for instance. To begin with, “Naked” is nothing less than a direct synonym for “innocent” (both could share the definition “having nothing to hide”). So great job there, guys! But it’s more stuff like this…


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I mean, what the hell is that? A plasticine face on a bottle. Nice job! Well worth it for the three likes. That’s gotta translate into at least one sale, right?

Just focus on how it tastes. Personally, I really like the taste of Naked Smoothies. The red machine one in particular is great. If it didn’t cost more than about three other drinks combined I’d drink it every day.

There’s also SoSmoothies, which is almost too perfect an example.

[EDIT: SoSmoothies is no longer a thing??]

This is (was) their logo.


Look at that smiley face. Their website [no longer active] has all the innocent elements: an unnecessary “our story” section,  full biographies of the people behind the drinks and yes, even the ubiquitous “hello@companyname.com” email address. Because you’re emailing a lovely person, not the inbox of some corporate CRM that’s assigning your ticket to the most appropriate work queue based on the keywords within it.

What’s the point of this rant? None really. It just annoys me to see brands mindlessly following a trend. Of course, I get that marketing drinks is hard. All you’ve got to differentiate yourself with is the brand since essentially all smoothies taste exactly the same. But maybe do something different, yeah?

Of course, I wouldn’t dare criticise something without my own suggestion. So, allow me to introduce… SMASHED UP SMOOTHIES

At SMASHED UP SMOOTHIES we mercilessly PUMMEL fruit to DEATH. With our BARE HANDS. This fruit isn’t picked by hand, it’s RIPPED off the tree by HARDCORE MEXICAN WRESTLERS who live simply to create FRUIT ORPHANS. Whatever isn’t POUND INTO OBLIVION by their FISTS OF FURY is then bottled and shipped direct to shops worldwide. 

Our smoothies taste like HULK HOGAN sweating into a PIT OF LAVA (that’s a good thing, by the way). Your taste buds will be SCARRED for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.


Please invest £250k in Smashed Up Smoothies. Thanks.

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