Natural energy drink start-up Virtue Drinks has secured a £1.2 million investment to accelerate its growth across the UK, alongside a new recipe upgrade.
The brand, launched in 2016 to provide a ‘clean’ alternative to traditional energy drinks, has also undertaken a rebrand this month alongside slightly altering its ingredients with the refreshed recipe that sees the full range include yerba mate.
Yerba mate is an adaptogen that is naturally high in caffeine, made from the dried leaves of the South American holly tree. Virtue said it can provide the energy of coffee, the health properties of tea and the endorphins of chocolate.
It also provides 24 vitamins and minerals including riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamins C and B6, and 15 amino acids.
Virtue secured investment from English footballer Chris Smalling in 2021, supplemented by the recent raise of £1.2 million. This latest raise will support further hires in sales and marketing alongside driving key marketing activity to increase brand awareness.
In a statement announcing the raise and rebrand, Virtue said that health-conscious millennials are looking for energy alternatives to coffee and traditional energy drinks that have a smooth and long-lasting energising effect.
It claims that consumers of yerba mate can experience a state of ‘alert wakefulness’ similar to coffee, but for a longer time period and without coffee’s ‘crash’ or effects on sleep. It is also claimed to help improve mental acuity and aid digestion.
Each of Virtue’s drinks contains 80mg of organic caffeine, no sugar, no calories and no artificial ingredients. They are now rolling out across Waitrose stores nationwide.
Rahi Daneshmand, Virtue founder, said: “We are very excited for this next stage of growth, as we build the market-leading clean energy drinks brand. Virtue is the first all-natural, zero sugar and zero calories energy drink in the UK and we plan to make our drinks accessible to even more people.”
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