Innocent throws London park party

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[London] Three-year-old Fruitstock, a "free festival for nice people" created by fast-growing U.K. fruit smoothie company Innocent, drew more than 100,000 visitors to London's Regent's Park the weekend of Aug. 6-7. Innocent got its start six years ago when its founders sold their first smoothies from a stall at a music festival next to a big sign asking "Do you think we should give up our jobs to make these smoothies?"

They did quit their jobs, and now Fruitstock reinforces the Innocent brand values that have made it the top-selling smoothie in the U.K. with a 45% market share.

An Innocent spokesperson said, "We wanted to put on something to say thank you to the people who drink our drinks. We've always done things differently and take a questioning approach to every area of business. Why not do a festival instead of a TV ad?"

Fruitstock, as the name suggests, borrows some of the hippy values of the Woodstock era. As well as live music and DJs, the event includes a flirting area, a treasure hunt, a circus, and a tasting area. Catering for its upscale audience, Fruitstock also offers organic food, champagne and newspaper stands.

Above the main stage a sign read "hello everyone" with the Innocent logo-a simple face with a halo on top. Innocent is a Ben-and-Jerry-like ethical company: its vehicles are electric, bottles use only recycled plastic and an Innocent Foundation is dedicated to the homeless and to developing countries.

Diane Perlman, a marketing consultant at Branding Matters, said, "Innocent has created a smoothie cult, turning its customers into fans by hosting memorable brand experiences that actually make people's lives better. Innocent is guilty of demonstrating an intimate understanding that brands that engage customers will win."

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