Brampton company designs spike-proof drinks

A BRAMPTON company is hoping its design for spike-proof drinks could revolutionise the way drinks are served in pubs and clubs.

A BRAMPTON company is hoping its design for spike-proof drinks could revolutionise the way drinks are served in the future.

Cell Drinks has secured major funding for its vodka-based drinks, served in a flexible and re-sealable pouch, meaning the drink cannot be spiked or used as a weapon. The packaging also has a smaller carbon footprint than the glass or plastic alternatives.

The company, registered at Measures Yard, Brampton, received guidance from the East of England Development Agency to help it secure investment, including pitching to a mock panel of ‘angel’ investors before tackling the real thing.

Director Luke Pulford, who has been working on the brand for the past two years, believes that with the new investors, who bring with them a wealth of experience in the drinks industry, Cell Drinks can be a significant presence in the market.

“The idea came from the fact that there hadn’t been a new product in the alcopops market for a long time; there had been no innovation, and everything looked the same,” said Mr Pulford. “I think the idea has got huge potential. It could go pan-European, but of course we have to take small steps initially.”

Mr Pulford said that the company would be focusing on the whole brand of Cell Drinks, not only the packaging, and that he hoped the first products would be on sale in selected outlets by Christmas, with a full roll-out by the middle of next year.

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He said that the early feedback from venue operators had been extremely positive, with many impressed by the associated benefits of the packaging.

“The social benefits of the brand have been the stake in the ground around which we have built Cell Drinks,” said Mr Pulford.

“As well as being spike-proof, the packaging stops wastage and theft: you can’t drop and smash the packaging. Bottles are heavier and bad for the environment.

“We are in discussions with some big players in the market, and have done R&D with the people that operate events, clubs and festivals.”

Mr Pulford said that the Understanding Finance for Business course at the St John’s Innovation Centre in Cambridge had been another invaluable tool in preparing Cell Drinks to pitch to investors.

Trevor Conway, business finance manager at EEDA, said: “Access to finance is a critical component for any business. It is what grows businesses like Cell Drinks, brings new products to the market, creates jobs, and will ultimately help drive UK plc back to prosperity. The Understanding Finance for Business programme has already helped over 400 local businesses in the East of England with targeted support, by getting to the heart of what those specific businesses need to raise finance.”