We weren't sure what to expect from the experience but my 3 year old nearly burst with excitement when he spotted the innocent logo at the top of Fruit Towers; "Just like on my plant cups!", which boded well for the rest of the trip.
We found our way inside and were made to feel very welcome. We were shown around the whole building by a friendly and enthusiastic member of staff who clearly loves his job on the innocent PR team. Fruit Towers is easily the most interesting office I've ever been in and we learnt loads of new facts about innocent too. Here are some of our favourite highlights from the Fruit Towers tour;
Astroturf EVERYWHERE! From the grass covered vans parked outside, the cute 'hello' welcome sign just inside the front entrance and the open plan staff 'chill out' area on the ground floor, you might think it's all about the (very green) first impressions, but no, it really is everywhere! As well as the ground floor, the offices on all five floors are carpeted in astroturf too, it's so happy, cheerful and fun!
The Lego wall - the best thing EVER according to my boys, they're now clamoring for one of their own and my 9 year old has been telling everyone who will listen that he wants to work for Innocent when he grows up, mostly because of the Lego wall! The boys were delighted that they got the chance to put their own stamp on the wall too.
The staff 'chill out' area - as well as the abundant astroturf, the chill out area also boasts a ping pong table, table football, plenty of picnic benches, meeting spaces and a well equipped kitchen to encourage staff to mingle as much as possible in their downtime. There was a lovely atmosphere there (and indeed everywhere we went in Fruit Towers). I must admit that I'll happily join my boys in their wish to work for innocent, I don't think I've ever seen a happier office!
The banana phone - remember the banana phone number on the back of every innocent drink? Well it turns out it really was a banana phone on the other end and the original one is still right there in Fruit Towers! Though the banana phone is now living out its well deserved retirement as a selfie prop in the foyer of Fruit Towers, staff still answer all calls from the outside world with "hello, innocent banana phone"!
The woolly hats - innocent are rightly very proud of their annual big knit campaign and the evidence can be seen all over the building. There is an impressive stockpile of woolly hats building up in the foyer ready for this year's bottles and the very best can be found on display around the building - they even have their own gallery.
The hats are knitted and sent in by volunteers all over the country and it's for a very worthy cause - innocent donate 25p from the sales of every single woolly-hatted drink to Age UK, raising awareness and over £1.9m pounds since the start of the campaign. Fun fact: If you knit and donate a hat, you'll get a personal thank you - innocent staff give up their own free time on Saturday mornings to write and send thank you cards to every single knitter!
The innocent Foundation wall - as well as the big knit, we were really impressed to find out that innocent gives 10% of its profits to charity via the innocent Foundation. By working with charities all over the world, innocent are doing their bit to help the world's hungry. Many of the staff at innocent volunteer their own time to work with the Foundation too, and there's even a waiting list because so many employees want to help.
The innocent test kitchen - innocent products are developed and tested right there in Fruit Towers and all innocent staff can apply to be official tasters too. You can peep into the test kitchen from the staff chill out area so it's right at the heart of the building.
The fridge full of yummy innocent drinks - staff at Fruit Towers can help themselves to innocent drinks all day long as they're freely available to all. The boys enjoyed 'testing' some of them as we toured the building and we were delighted to be given a generous selection to take home too, yum!
The newly repackaged innocent smoothies - we also heard about the newly repackaged kids smoothies and juices - always a favourite treat in our house! The new drinks wedges now come in recyclable packaging that can keep for up to 12 hours OUT of the fridge, so they're perfect for packed lunches and picnics too. The smoothies are made from 100% pure fruit (never ever from concentrate) and one serving counts as one of your 5-a-day.
There are now 8 delicious flavours available; Peaches & Passion fruits, Cherries & Strawberries, Oranges, Mangoes & Pineapples, Strawberries, Apples & Beetroot, Tasty Tropical, Pineapples, Apples & Carrots, Strawberries, Blackberries & Raspberries and Amazing Apple. I'm particularly keen to try the Cherries & Strawberries flavour (never mind the kids!), so will be keeping my eyes peeled for them in the shops.
There was so much to see at Fruit Towers that I've only just scratched the surface in this post, but I hope that ithas given you a taste of the wonders to be found there. We loved learning more about innocent and being reminded all over again why it's one of our favourite companies.
Watch out for our next update on the Sow & Grow project coming soon too, we've been very busy in the garden recently. If your school is signed up to the project, don't forget to upload your photos at https://innocentsowandgrow.com/ to be in with the chance to win monthly prizes from innocent and see your classroom crowned as Sow & Grow champions.
PS One more fun fact - if you go past Fruit Towers at night you might be lucky enough to see that cute little innocent logo wink at you!
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by innocent in support of the Sow & Grow campaign. I was compensated for my time however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.