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Freshly Ground PR is a PR and marketing agency based in Bath, specialising in independent food and drink, hospitality and lifestyle brands.

Britain turns over a new leaf at teatime, as yerba mate producer branches out

Amy Brice

Yuyo yerba mate tea Seed Fund.jpg

Yuyo has reported growing sales for its range of organic infusions made with South American super herb, yerba mate, coming hot on the heels of the Bath-based producer announcing a new listing with Selfridges this spring. Having carved out a new category for its energising alternative to tea and coffee since taking The Seed Fund’s annual prize in 2015, Yuyo is now available from the likes of Ocado, Whole Foods Market and Planet Organic, as well as many other independent retailers across the UK.

Since coming through The Seed Fund Academy, a philanthropic project set up to help food and drink start-ups turn their big ideas into big business, founders Rosie Marteau and Charles Grummitt have wasted no time in shaking up the UK’s hot drink scene with yerba mate’s clean, green caffeine hit without the crash. With support from The Seed Fund’s mentors in areas such as a distribution, finance and retail, as well as a rebrand led by The Seed Fund’s founder, Jayne Noblet from The Collaborators, Yuyo has made its way into delis, farm shops and food halls. Export trade has also flourished, with the products now available in nine different countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany and France.

Remaining true to the passion and principles that led them to begin their voyage in yerba mate following a trip to South America, Rosie and Charles now source their leaves from a sustainable and organic permaculture project in Brazil. Partnering with Berlin and Brazil-based Meta Mate, Yuyo is currently working towards a longer term strategy to secure livelihoods and protect forests where this awakening herb is grown. Going full circle, Rosie has also joined The Seed Fund’s panel of industry mentors, sharing her own experiences with this year’s class of fledgling food and drink entrepreneurs.

Six different Yuyo infusions, as well as a loose leaf pure yerba mate, are available to purchase from independent retailers across the UK, as well as online at www.yuyo.co.uk. RRP £4.35 per pouch of 14 bags.

For more information on The Seed Fund, please visit www.theseedfund.co.uk.