In 1982, I bought a failing fruit juice company that was going out of business. I was just 22 at the time.
I worked night and day to save the company and tried very hard to make it successful. The company was called Rio Beverages.
Initially, we only made and sold fruit juices. As the 1980s progressed, we bought our own production equipment and launched many new brands, including market leaders like Rio Gold, Ikon, Dirty Dog, Frucci and more.
By the end of the 1990s, we had two production factories; one in South Auckland another in Christchurch, with five production lines in total. From a tiny fruit juice business in South Auckland, we’d grown into a large and successful company with 250 full-time employees and annual sales approaching NZD$100 million.
Rio was sold to Coca-Cola in November 2002.
Since then there have been many changes in the industry. One of the biggest is the almost total overseas ownership of our beverage industry. Well, things are about to change - for the better.
We’re launching Kiwi Beverages in 2019, along with a fantastic range of home-grown beverage products. Some of them are old and much-loved favourites from the Rio Beverages days. And to do our part in improving the health of New Zealanders, nearly all our drinks are sugar-free.
We’re using a franchise system to sell and deliver our products to you. Our franchisees are small business owners who operate in your area.