TRIP: overcoming challenges and disrupting the drinks industry

The full story on how they became the fastest growing soft drink in the UK from getting listed with retailers to growing their community.

TRIP founders Olivia and Dan

How TRIP became the number one growing drinks brand in the UK and gained 50 million organic social media impressions. 

We recently attended Bread & Jam festival where we heard from many inspiring food and drink founders at different stages of their business journeys. One of which, was health and wellbeing drink brand, TRIP.  

Founders Olivia and Dan created TRIP to offer consumers some respite from the stresses of every day life. Containing CBD and other natural adaptogens, TRIP drinks help you find your calm and “unwind into your best self”.  

TRIP is now the fastest growing soft drink in the UK and, since January 2023, has achieved 50 million organic social media impressions.  

We’re sharing their story and insights on how they got there.  

Know your customer inside out

It’s crucial to keep your consumer at the heart of every decision that you make. TRIP have gone to great lengths to know their consumer inside out. They get into their minds by asking questions such as what are they doing in the day? Where are they grabbing their coffee? Where and how do they commute to work? 

TRIP online shop

Be onmnichannel

When thinking about your distribution strategy, it’s easy to focus on one channel. As a start-up food or drink brand trying to disrupt an industry, it’s easy to focus on selling into speciality or premium channels in retail. TRIP have always considered themselves as omnichannel, and beyond D2C, they operate in retail, health and wellness, FOTM & dining and bar and hospitality. Olivia points out that you need to be open-minded about how your brand can fit into places and lean on multiple partners across these channels to build brand awareness and tell your brand story.

Trial and testing new channels are paramount and if you can pivot and react to changes in the market, that is a great strength. Olivia and Dan planned originally to sell their drinks in bars and hospitality. Due to the pandemic, they were forced to pivot towards retailers and on-demand delivery with Deliveroo. This demonstrated the importance to keeping your business agile as you may need to adapt. 

Calm x TRIP partnership offer


Olivia discussed their impactful strategic partnership with Calm – a meditation app - and the benefits of working with a partner that shares a similar ethos to leverage brand awareness, gain attention and disrupt the industry.  

As part of this campaign, TRIP we’re able to gift their e-commerce customers with a free Calm membership. Olivia believes that partnerships are essential for building awareness of your products and says that, if you can, small acts of gifting can go along way. 

Keep your focus

Since launching in 2019, TRIP have added two more family members to the business as they grew to become the UK’s leading premium CBD brand. With such huge growth, it’s no surprise that the team and their operations have had to grow at pace.  

Olivia recommends keeping the focus of your brand and team culture on the challenge you are trying to solve. Share community stories with your team and remember why you started this journey. For TRIP, this means keeping the company slack channel regularly updated with messages from their community and customer to constantly remind the team of the positive impact their work is having and their drinks are supporting their customers wellbeing.  

TRIP's TikTok page

Build an organic community through TikTok

Even if you have a large advertising budget, building an organic community is vital. Harnessing the power of TikTok has allowed Trip to generate 50 million organic social media impressions since January 2023.  

Olivia’s top tips for organic growth is to maintain an active presence on the channel and recommends a test and learn approach when implementing new ideas. Empower an enthusiastic team member who is willing to take risks and experiment. 

How to get listed with retailers

Olivia concluded by sharing her top tips for getting the attention of retailers to drive sales of your product. 

TRIP drinks with barcode

1. Make sure you have barcodes

If you plan on getting listed with any food retailer, you'll need to display GS1 barcodes and GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) on your product packaging.  

GS1 GTINs and barcodes are used by over two million organisations to uniquely identify more than a billion products worldwide. By providing businesses with a global language for product data, they give you an accurate and efficient way to capture and share information about your food and drink products.  

GS1 UK is the only authorised provider of unique GTINs. GS1 GTINs and barcodes are used and accepted by retailers and marketplaces across the world, making it easy to sell your products anywhere, to anyone, at any time. 

GS1 UK membership is a yearly subscription and, as a member, you'll have access to a host of free resources and unique opportunities to support you on your journey as a food and drink challenger brand.   

If you would like to know how to get starting using barcodes and other GS1 standards, read our getting ready to trade guide. 

2. View brands in adjacent categories as allies

They add pressure and get attention from buyers. This helps with education and awareness, leading to new opportunities and openings in store listings and layouts. One challenge TRIP have is the stigma around CBD and mental wellbeing. 


3. Use a creative approach to get attention from buyers

TRIP built a relationship with buyers by sending care packages containing product samples to everyone on the same floor as the buyer they we’re trying to grab the attention of. They recommend sharing useful information to build a picture of your brand as a strategy, rather than getting in touch with questions and asking retailers how to get listed. 


TRIP founder, Olivia

It's not an overnight success. Don’t give up, keep trying different things and if you receive a no from a buyer, find an alternative solution such as offering a trial in the future or keeping them updated with news about your product."

Olivia Ferdi

Founder, TRIP drinks


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