From an initial order of one pallet in 2003 to selling 30,500,000 cans and bottles per year, Boost has a lot to celebrate in its twentieth year of doing business in Northern Ireland.
The Leeds-based drinks company is so familiar to people here that it is often mistaken as a Northern Ireland based business, explained Boost Drinks CEO, Simon Gray.
“For twenty years we have immersed ourselves in every aspect of life in Northern Ireland, supporting local charities, encouraging grass roots sportsmen and women, giving NHS workers a boost and raising the profile of performers and various organisations and individuals. In fact, we’ve been so present in Northern Ireland society that people often think this our home which I take as a huge compliment.”
Boost Drinks is the number one best-selling energy drink in Northern Ireland with a 32% market share in convenience*.
Simon said: “We couldn’t have achieved our market position without the support of the hard-working people of Northern Ireland. So, this year was all about saying thank you for being in our corner for the last 20 years. We wanted our gratitude and our celebration to be at the heart of the brand activations for our Boost Iced Coffee, Sport and Energy ranges.”
As part of its year-long Always In Your Corner campaign, the drinks company has been searching for Northern Ireland’s local heroes, whether that be deserving mums or retailers who have gone above and beyond for their communities.
Simon continued: “The search for our local heroes generated hundreds of entries and after much deliberation we chose 5 individuals and 5 retailers whose identities will be revealed at our twentieth birthday celebration taking place at the Titanic Hotel on November 2nd. The Boost heroes will receive a trophy, shops will get a slimline fridge and consumers will get a £200 voucher, as a thank you for all of the commitment they have shown to their customers and communities.
“As we look back, we’re proud to say that we have supported a huge array of worthwhile causes, individuals, and organisations across Northern Ireland over the last two decades. Five of them, including Malone Tornadoes Mixed Ability Rugby, Brain Injury Matters and Air Ambulance NI, plus local band, Highway 56, and Boost’s distribution partner in Northern Ireland, Hardy Distribution, shared their connection to Boost in a revealing series of short videos which can be seen on our social media channels.”
Gareth Hardy, Hardy Distribution, Boost’s distribution partner in Northern Ireland, said: “We have been distributing Boost for 20 years in Northern Ireland – we have been there from day one. We are an extension of their business and they treat us just like that and I believe that’s been key to our success. Offering a product that is competitively priced in 2003 but did not compromise on quality or taste was exactly what the market here wanted, and consumers responded.
“Since we started working with Boost, we have gone from 2 employees to ten and from 2,000 sq ft to 50,000 sq ft of warehouse space. The relationship we have with Boost is testament to how collaborative working can really pay off.”
Colleen Milligan, Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, said: “It costs around £48K per week to keep the Air Ambulance operational and we get on average two callouts per day. The £41K raised by Boost meant that our team could make 12 potentially lifesaving responses getting treatment to those who need it most in the fastest way possible. They used several tactics to help raise funds including donating a percentage from the sale of every Boost Red Berry bottle, sponsoring our Three Peaks event, providing staff to help on the day and giving all participants a goody bag.”
Boost also helped catapult buskers from Northern Ireland into the public eye including Highway 56. To celebrate the launch of Boost Juic’d Blood Orange and Raspberry Crush, Boost Drinks launched Boost’s Busker Corner competition to find talented buskers who would benefit from a once-in-a-lifetime prize. There were two heats, one in Derry~Londonderry won by Jack Fairon with the Belfast title won by brothers, Fergus and Cormac McPherson, Highway 56.
Cormac McPherson, Highway 56, said: “When we entered the competition, we had no idea about the impact it would have on our careers. Hundreds of people saw us perform live outside CastleCourt Shopping Centre, we played at The Empire Music Hall with busking legend, John Garrity, and as Cool FM and Downtown were media partners, thousands more heard us sing on the radio. We even had strangers stop us on the street and say how well we did.
“Boost helped open doors for us in the music industry and we got bookings to play at some events. It was a very proud moment and great exposure for us that we never would have achieved without Boost’s help.”
Simon Gray concluded: “As a business, it is easy to forget about the wider impact Boost has had on the many organisations and individuals here that we have worked with. We are committed to continuing to build on the good will and affection that people from Northern Ireland feel for Boost for the next twenty years.”
Since 2003, the Boost Drinks brand has grown from strength to strength, establishing itself as the number one selling soft drink in Northern Ireland*.
Boost was established in 2001 after founder (and MD) Simon Gray saw the opportunity to offer consumers a great quality energy drink at a fraction of the price of other brands at that time.
Two years later Boost, alongside Hardy Distribution, brought the brand to the local market, making the brand 20 years old in NI this year. Boost Drinks now owns the province’s top selling soft drink within the local independent convenience channel1.
Boost offers Energy, Sport and Iced Coffee products in various pack formats and flavours.
* All figures are from the latest Circana/IRI based on the latest 52we to 9 September 2023. Distribution numbers are via Greenfield Marketing.