Start-up soft drinks company set to give half of its business to good causes

A new soft drinks start-up company has announced a new ‘commercially compassionate’ model, which will give away over half of its business to good causes.

Bristol-based soft drinks firm, Counter Culture Drinks has launched a business for good model, which will allocate 51% of the business to not-for-profits.

The B-Corp kombucha company announced to shareholders that 5% of total sales will also be allocated to supporting social and environmental causes.

The move is driven by a goal to raise at least £1m for charities through business endeavours through ‘commercially compassionate’ shares, which will be allocated to charities and civil society organisations.

Among the first organisations to benefit from the shareholder model are Alcohol Change UK and BillyChip.

The move has been announced amid a rise in the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, particularly kombucha drinks, which have seen supermarket sales soar by 31% in value and 28% in volume in 2023 alone.

“At Counter Culture Drinks we believe in doing things differently, from the design of our products to the structure of our business and our ultimate aim to empower civil society organisations to create positive change. Rather than donating a set amount of money to charities or having one charity partnership, we wanted to make sure that, from the very start, the success of the business would directly benefit our CC shareholders as well as traditional shareholders,” Counter Culture CEO and co-founder, Tom Smart said.

“As a young company breaking the mould in the soft drinks space, we are passionate about starting conversations with liked minded people about how businesses and civil society can work together to create greater positive impact and we’d love to work with other brands, retailers and customer who share this passion as we continue to grow.”

In addition to the CC shareholder model, the firm are also looking at new ways of collaborating with charities.

One recent collaboration is with BillyChip in a new drink in their sparkling light non-alcoholic kombucha range. Named Chip In, 5% of all sales will go directly to BillyChip.

The firm is also offering a significant discount on products to UK registered charities, with 51% reduced rates on Counter Culture kombucha for events and fundraising.

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