The secrets of Seedlip
Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip talks about the Seedlip success story and how they remain relevant and responsible, and how they continue to rediscover new opportunities to maintain their status.
On 4th October we held an innovation evening at the Unit gallery in Covent Garden. Innovators and leading brands including Diageo, Mondelez, Dairy Crest, Chivas Brothers, Pladis and Beam Suntory came together to eat, drink, mingle and listen to thought provoking presentations from ex Morrisons and Argos transformational expert Charlotte Dewhurst, Founder of Seedlip Ben Branson and our very own Innovation Director Becky Fone and Packaging Technology Director Gillian Garside-Wight.
Ben’s presentation had the audience transfixed as he talked humbly about the journey that delivered the uniqueness that is Seedlip. Offering a solution to the problem of 'what to drink when you're not drinking' Seedlip is challenging the very notion of what constitutes 'a drink', and whether it needs to contain alcohol or not. As the world’s First Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirits Brand it is now served in thirty of the world’s top 50 cocktail bars and over 250 Michelin starred restaurants.
And to get everyone in the spirit (sorry) Seedlip brought along their pop up bar and served delegates a choice of three cocktails which had everyone queuing for seconds (and thirds).
Ben grew up in a farming family from his mum’s side. They’ve been farming for over 300 years in Lincolnshire so nature, the land and farming are extremely important to him. This combined with a dad who has a strong branding history sparked his creativity which saw him work in the agency world for ten years, a lot of that being in the drink space.
After noticing an opportunity between alcohol and soft drinks, both valued at £16 billion, Ben started to look into old herbals and the art of distillation, in which both alcohol and non-alcohol remedies are made using distillation. He then set up a copper distil and started to experiment using ingredients from his garden. And that’s how Seedlip was formed!
What was interesting, outside of the story of how Seedlip began, was learning about the company’s ethos and beliefs. Ben was very clear that Seedlip is a nature company, not a drink’s brand, and he’s keen to develop the brand further. Ben’s commitment to sustainability is clear throughout the business; not only does he care about his employees but he’s passionate about nature, to the point that he grants staff two weeks paid leave a year to go and reconnect with nature.
Ben’s presentation was just a snippet of what was reviewed as a fantastic evening all round. We’ll leave you with a few words from those that attended:
Very informative, fantastic speakers. Very engaging. Thought provoking
Excellent content with particular ideas on how to consume the future of innovation immediately
Thought provoking presentations. Great example from Seedlip
Great discussions and excellent food for thought