Skinny Drinks Group (PRIVATE:SKTON), the company behind the first zero-calorie, zero sugar, and 100% natural mixer to launch nationwide in the UK, has highlighted a leap in revenue in the first five months of 2021 as it builds a new factory and adds to its team In a June shareholder update.

The company – which changed its name from Skinny Tonic Group in April this year – said revenue in the year to end May was £1,159,752, up 161% as business bounced back following the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.

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Ian Minton, CEO/founder of  The Skinny Drinks Group commented: ”Building a stronger business through a year unlike no other. 2020 was an unprecedented year, with the Covid 19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, Brexit ambiguity and the infamous toilet roll gate.”

“As a business we learnt to not weather the storm, but to embrace it fully. We re-evaluated the future and adapted our model to embrace change which was guided by our core values,” he noted.

Minton continued: “Like many other hospitality businesses we faced the potential of our business doors closing, we quickly and successfully launched our direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel for our Skinny Tonic brand as traditional shopping methods rapidly turned to e-commerce solutions.

“We quicky surpassed revenue targets for this channel and became the number 1 selling Tonic Water on Amazon. Our D2C platform enabled us to grow and set up an ecommerce hub increasing from our current premises to 10,000 sq ft.”

Business, factory, team expansions

The Skinny CEO noted that the company has now secured over £10 million worth of own label business from Lidl and a leading premium UK retailer.

Following on from April’s appointment of Marine Bourbon as Head of Marketing, Skinny recently appointed two new recruits to its management team, with Kavita Healy named as Managing Director and Sean Oprey as Financial Manager.

In January 2021 Skinny moved to a new HQ, a state of the art integrated office and manufacturing space, however that new home didn’t last long and it recently moved again due to further rapid expansion – albeit only 10 metres away – and is now the tenant of a 45,000 square foot headquarters.

The company’s boss noted that a new Krones canning line and Milkron processing plant is currently being installed and added that Skinny will soon be adding its bottling line and a second canning line which will give it the capability of filling 54,000 cans and bottles per hour.

One of Europe’s fastest and most flexible soft drink manufacturers

Minton concluded by saying that “2021 will see SDG become one of the fastest and most flexible soft drink manufacturers in Europe.”

“The strong manufacturing foundations we have laid will allow true versatility of product innovations fulfilled through our brand extensions,” he added.

The company is looking to roll-out its Skinny Soda range later in 2021, a brand extension into a new product category which will broaden consumption occasions of Skinny not just as a mixer but also as a stand-alone soft drink.

Created using the same ethos as the mixer, Skinny Soda will be 100% natural, truly zero sugar and zero calories.

And September will mark the start of the company’s on-trade expansion as it will exhibit at Imbibe Live, Europe’s largest on-trade drinks industry event in London.

Outside of the UK, from August 2021, Skinny will make its successful export market expansion into premium retail and hospitality in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Contact the author at jon.hopkins@proactiveinvestors.com