Bon Accord’s birthday! A look back at 7 years in the Industry.
Hey there fizzy fans and flavour aficionados! Today we raise our glasses to celebrate Bon Accord’s seventh birthday. Can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday that we brought back the cult classic that is Bon Accord. So, let's take a walk down memory lane, from Bon Accord’s humble beginnings in 1903, all the way through to our present day bubbly brilliance.
Bon Accord back in the day!
Pineappleade, Red Kola and Limeade. It’s safe to say that people had, and still hold, a lot of love for the original Bon Accord. Founded in 1903 by our current co-owner’s great-great-grandfather in Arbroath, Angus, Bon Accord delivered juice to communities all over Scotland in their iconic vans.
2016 was, of course, one of our biggest years ever at Bon Accord, as it was when we refreshed! When Karen, our co-owner, was pregnant she realised that there was a distinct lack of tasty soft drinks on the market.
As a result Karen, along with her business partner Nathan, decided to bring Bon Accord back to fizz lovers across the country! Perfect for the health conscious consumer, our modern take on Bon Accord included sweetening our drinks with organic coconut nectar, real fruit juice, honey and, paying homage to the much loved bottles of yesteryears, our drinks were to be sold in glass bottles!
Taking baby steps into the market, we initially launched with our fan favourite Rhubarb Soda, Cloudy Lemonade and Tonic Water.
2017 marked the year where all of our hard work started to pay off. Our products were beginning to be recognised within the food and drink community as we were awarded not one, but two, Great Taste Awards! Our drinks began to pop up in cafes, bars and restaurants across Scotland. In addition, we were delighted to spot our drinks at the International Book festival in Edinburgh during the August Festival.
Following the success of our initial products, we decided to expand our range! We initially introduced Ginger Beer, before adding Light and Dry Tonic to our gradually growing assortment of juice…
2018 meant one thing and one thing only… It was time for a packaging refresh. It was out with the old and in with the new. Speaking of new… this year we added Cream Soda, Bona-Cola and 500ml bottles of tonic to our range. In addition, we also announced a huge collaboration with Lucky Liquor Co, one of the best bars in Edinburgh. We worked with them to create a cult classic, and in 2018 our Salted Pink Grapefruit Soda was born.
Following on closely from our collab with Lucky Liquor, we realised that you lot couldn’t get enough of our Grapefruit Soda and were practically begging us to create more tart and tangy goodness. As a result, in 2019 we introduced our 275ml Pink Grapefruit Soda.
On top of that, 2019 marked the first year that we sponsored the International Festival. And, despite a wee break due to unforeseen circumstances (rona), we have been proud sponsors every year since.
To say 2020 was difficult for us as a burgeoning small business is no understatement, however this was far from a unique experience. We, along with many other businesses which relied heavily on the hospitality sector, had to quickly grapple with how to stay afloat during this unprecedented time. Luckily, we’d long been working on activating our online website (which you’re reading this blog post on now… spooky).
Another lifeline came in the form of Co-op’s ‘local launch’ initiative, when we were stocked within 30 Stores across Scotland. Along with being our first ever supermarket listing this support, paired with the orders coming in on our online store, meant that we had some security whilst we were seeing when hospitality would pick back up. It’s safe to say that both of these moments were pivotal in getting us where we are today, and to anyone who supported us during this time we were forever grateful ❤️
Another thing that came with 2020 was a lot of downtime. As such, we decided to do a lot of planning. The outcome? We launched our 750ml sharing bottles in Cloudy Lemonade, Ginger Beer and Rhubarb Soda which happened to be perfect for supermarket listings… but more on that later 😉
Our customers spoke and we listened. 2021 marked the year of making our drinks more accessible with the removal of honey from our recipes. With the debate regarding whether honey was vegan or not raging, we decided to remove ourselves from the equation altogether. From this point on our drinks were to be sweetened with coconut nectar and fruit juice, meaning that our drinks could be enjoyed by more people than ever before.
In addition, 2021 is when our partnership with Morrisons began. Launching with our 750ml bottles and exclusive 4-packs in their Arbroath store, Bon Accord’s hometown, this year marked the beginning of a, now flourishing, relationship with the supermarket giant.
In 2022 we worked with Morrisons to extend the parameters of our listing, with our drinks now being stocked in 10 stores across the East coast of Scotland. And, if that wasn’t exciting enough, we also decided to introduce our Soda Water to our range, perfect for our bar customers who had been asking for it!
And that brings us up to date! What has happened so far this year I hear you ask…
Our listing with Morrisons has continued ✨thriving✨ with the addition of four more stores (Perth, Stirling, Dalkeith and Hunters Tryst).
In addition, we’re currently in the middle of a huge recipe project. For those of you who are in the know, there is developing legislation around the amount of high fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) within food and drink. This new legislation essentially means that products with higher levels of fat, salt and sugar will be subject to higher advertising fees and they are harder to include in promotional deals.
Health has also been a big consideration for us, and we’ve always strived to make our drinks as healthy as possible for our customers. As a result, we are in the process of removing the organic coconut nectar from all of our products, in order to lower their sugar content and make them HFSS compliant, while keeping our plant-based pop as delicious as it’s ever been.
As you can imagine, this has been quite a process… From working through existing stock, reformulating recipes and redesigning labels, there has been a lot going on. And, as we want to do this in the right way, we’re gradually launching the new recipes over the coming months. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled, and let us know as and when you spot a new-recipe Bon Accord on your shelves!
Again, we want to say a massive thank you to anyone and everyone who has supported us in any way over the last seven years. Our customers are the only reason that we have grown, and your love for the product allows us to continue to do what we love too! Here’s to the next seven years (and beyond) - Sl àinte
(Reposted from June 2023)