Nudie has gone back to ‘innovative roots’, claims CEO

The CEO of Nudie has told StartupSmart that the smoothie brand is going back to its “innovative roots” following the launch of a new juice range.


Nudie is rolling out a new range of natural juice that offers orange and apple variants in two litre bottles. The company says that the range will support local farmers, while appealing to families with the larger bottle size and $5.99 price point. A launch of a further range will take place in February.


James Ajaka, Nudie’s CEO, says that the company was looking to go back to its entrepreneurial foundations, eight years after the brand was started.


“Of course, when it was just the three of us, we were super-fast and nimble and we would hand label and deliver the bottles,” he says.


“That was fun, but it’s a different business now. Between year four and year six to seven of the business, our innovation slowed down and we focussed on the nuts and bolts of the business.”


“When I became CEO in July last year, the number one priority was to go back to its innovative roots. It had slowed down but the launch of Coconut Water generated a lot of PR and interest, and now we are leaping out of our premium space into the mainstream juice market.”


“We’re committed to being innovative in the juice space, but we don’t want to do what everyone else is doing and launch a price war. We’ll see how everyone else reacts to that.”


Ajaka insists that the ethos of Nudie has not changed, despite its growth.


“We had 21,000 emails last year from people saying ‘thank God for Nudie’ which, from a sales perspective, shows that the brand is strong,” says Ajaka. “Some consumers think we should still only be in their one café in Bondi, but we sponsor over 30 community sports teams in Australia, so that shows that our values haven’t changed.”


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