6 years ago

Hobnobbing with Jessica Titcumb from Twisted Halo Drinks

So, what do Twisted Halo Drinks do?

We are here to shake up the ready-to-drink category with our innovative and delicious twists. We are tired of accepting sugary, calorie laden alcoholic drinks which often fail to deliver on both taste and satisfaction. Our original product is a gently sparkling coconut water muddled with vodka and twisted with ginger.

What’s behind the business idea?

I came up with the idea in 2015 after being continuously frustrated with what was currently available on the drinks market. I was craving a delicious alternative to the boring vodka, lime & soda and so decided to take it upon myself to solve the problem. I was determined to create the perfect brand for myself that I knew so many other people would love too.

12 months later Twisted Halo was born.

Was it hard becoming a business owner?

I’d be lying if I said that there are not difficult or challenging days. Launching a startup is a rollercoaster and there are numerous highs and lows. It’s fulfilling and rewarding though, which is what gives me the motivation to push through the times when it seems like everything is going wrong.

How did you recruit your employees?

I am a big believer in personality fit rather than experience.  We have a great team who are very passionate about the business and are always willing to go the extra mile.  We often use platforms such as Escape the City and the Santander internship scheme.

Was there a breakthrough moment?

Each day feels like a breakthrough moment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far the business has progressed. A recent example of this was when we found out we had secured a listing with Morrisons. From August we will be stocked in 250 stores nationwide. Definitely a breakthrough moment for the team and I!

How is the company doing?

We’re doing well - our main focus is on distribution growth and rate of sale. We’re about to launch into two great supermarkets and our listings in the on-trade market are picking up. We’re also raising our second round of funding, enabling us to commit to a few very exciting projects in the  months to come. Watch this space!

Do you have any regrets?

Before I launched Twisted Halo, I started a brand called Lovo Drinks. It’s safe to say that the business didn’t work out for a number of reasons; from ingredients used, to the branding being too soft drink focused. It was from those experiences that I was able to learn from my mistakes and launch Twisted Halo. In less than a year we’ve done pretty well to penetrate the market. As a business owner, one of the hardest things is putting your hands up and admitting you got it wrong. It is all about being able to adapt and constantly move forward.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

Twisted Halo is positioned in a category where there has been little innovation. The big players have had the luxury of dominating the market for a long time and as a result have not needed to develop it in great depth.

We’ve found it really fun messing with the status quo and injecting some enthusiasm and passion into the market. Our packaging and branding is very distinctive and we think the premium cues are regarded amongst the audience. Our product offering is very unique in the flavour profile and we place a lot of emphasis on the quality of ingredients, which we feel really resonates with consumers.

Being such a young brand we are able to be reflexive in the way we respond to consumer demands. Our current offering taps into one of the biggest trends on the market today: coconut water.

There’s always the education piece which is difficult with any new brand, but we’re massively excited for the times ahead and to execute various campaigns to help spread the word.

What is your definition of a positive customer experience?

For me it’s simple, witnessing new customers try Twisted Halo and seeing their positive reactions and understanding of the product. Hearing ‘that tastes amazing’ never gets old!

You’re currently reaching out for investors, what do you plan to do when you have raised this funding?

We know customers love the product when they try it.

The next step it to make Twisted Halo more widely accessible.

Our focus this year is to drive growth through expanding our distribution points and gaining more awareness. Increased awareness will result in an ever increasing customer base and rate of sale.

We will use this investment to help grow the brand. Here are some of our plans:

- Manufacture alternative packaging formats.

- Launch two new products onto the market.

- Develop a truly innovative marketing campaign with a leading agency.

- Recruit sampling brand ambassadors and launch a national experiential sampling campaign across the UK.

- Invest in our sales team to grow distribution.

- Explore international distribution.

If you could help a business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Network;  you never know who you’ll be introduced to or where it can take you, both as a person and a business. Speak to as many people as possible!

Finally, Jessica what is your favourite biscuit?!

Hob Nob