The One That Got Away? Berczy Goes From Strength to Strength

Steven Bartlett openly declared that Berczy may be “the one that got away,” lamenting “I feel like I may regret that” in deciding not to invest in the business.

Regardless, the hard seltzer brand has gone from strength-to-strength, despite not receiving investment from the Dragons.

Just recently, both Nicks (two old friends and entrepreneurs) pitched their award-winning, premium, sustainable drinks to the fiercest of audiences: The Dragons. The pitch was for their ‘hard seltzer’ brand (a category made famous in the US). Berczy produces a low-calorie, low-sugar alcoholic sparkling water flavoured with real fruit, – that is making waves over here in the UK.

Berczy produces four 100% natural drinks, free from all additives and preservatives: Lemon & Lime, Peach & Raspberry, Passionfruit & Turmeric, and Winter Cola in 250ml cans, with a range of packaging formats available.

The brand received positive feedback from ALL of the Dragons, including Sara Davies who declared that the entrepreneurs had “credibly explained that this will be the next big thing,” and with Peter Jones saying that [he thinks that] “the product is wonderful.” It looked as though the Dragons might regret letting them go, but what exactly have the entrepreneurs been up to since their performance? 

“It was an incredible experience, and one that we will never forget. We couldn’t have been happier with the feedback. The reception from new and current customers has been incredible: the days following the episode have been challenging, as we’ve worked hard to keep up with the extra demand, but I guess that’s a great problem to have,” said Nick Graham.

Since the show aired, Berczy has continued to grow in the UK. The brand can now be found across some of the UK’s best outlets, including in Planet Organic, Daylesford Farm Stores, Gorillas, Sourced Market, AND in 100’s of other independents across the country. Also, Berczy recently won a huge listing to launch into 100 RedCat pubs in April, with a new distribution partner. They also have a great presence in citizenM Hotels. 

“We are now calling on the UK’s biggest retailers to get Berczy into their stores, as there is clearly a customer demand for Berczy, and the feedback from the Dragons puts us in a fantastic position to become the best-known brand in the category,” added Nick Graham.

Despite missing out on investment in the Den, the entrepreneurs have since raised an additional £400,000 from five new angel investors, to help them move into the US market, a strategic mission revealed in the den.

And Berczy will launch across New Jersey this April, with signed distribution agreements, – listing with some of the biggest retail partners in the area. “Our US launch will be a huge part of our strategy for 2022, and we are SO thankful to our new investors for joining us on this journey. We will be the first brand from the UK in our category to make the move across the pond, so it’s a huge opportunity,” said Nick Johnson.

​​Not satisfied with stopping just there, Berczy also has ambitious plans to launch in the Netherlands, in France, and in Cyprus over the coming months, as interest in the fast-growing category gains traction.

Since they filmed the episode, Berczy has also launched a category-first winter flavour, Winter Cola (made with a mix of kola nut and subtle notes of lime, a nostalgic blast from the past).

Having visited Toronto’s Berczy Park in the summer of 2019, and after seeing the impact of hard seltzers across the country, Nick Graham and Nick Johnson vowed to come back and introduce their own concept to the UK, and consequently, the business launched in December 2020.

Nick Graham has a background in start-ups and in retail. He was an early joiner in HelloFresh. He helped to establish their UK supply chain operation, and more recently, he worked as a Retail Strategy Consultant at Capgemini Invent. Nick Johnson has over 7 years of international experience in Environmental Engineering and sales.

Berczy was backed by Virgin Start Ups in June 2020, enabling them to access the capital required for marketing and production activities, cementing their place as one of the UK’s most prominent hard seltzers. Berczy now has 5 different investment partners, and is sold across over 500 outlets in the UK. 

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