Couple brings traditional South American drink yerba mate to the UK with the launch of Yuyo brand
With Brazil in the spotlight this summer thanks to the Rio Olympics, one couple is bringing the traditional South American drink yerba mate to the UK, with an Ocado launch for their Yuyo brand this month.
Biochemist Dr Charles Grummitt and his partner Rosie Marteau, a Spanish translator, founded Yuyo – which means herb or wild plant in Spanish – on their return to Britain after travelling in Latin America.
Yerba mate, pronounced yer-bah ma-tey, is a herb from the holly family with a combination of caffeine and theobromine, the feelgood compound from cacao.
Pope Francis and footballers Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi are all yerba mate drinkers. ‘The theobromine kicks in more slowly than caffeine, so what you get is a cleaner, more sustained lift than coffee, without the crash,’ said Grummitt.
Dr Charles Grummitt and his partner Rosie Marteau
In May last year the couple won a competition called The Seed Fund, set up by branding consultancy The Collaborators, to help fledgling food businesses in the South West to flourish.
The business, based in Shaftesbury, Dorset, launched its Yuyo brand at the Source Trade Show in Exeter in February. The brand has six blends, each certified organic by the Soil Association – four are yerba mate-based and two are rooibos-based.
With the help of The Collaborators, the couple commissioned an artist to create paintings for the packaging inspired by South American street art and came up with the slogan ‘Escape the Ordinary’.
Marteau said: ‘We’re still a small business with just one full-time employee, yours truly, and some freelance support, but we’re managing to break into mainstream retail with listings with Whole Foods, Planet Organic and, from later this month, Ocado. Lots of this is thanks to hard work, combined with the amazing branding prize from The Seed Fund and Start Up Loans.’
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