Innovative drinks company tastes sweet success

Canny Milk

Canny Milk founders Liam Watson and Simon Bishop

Newcastle-based Canny Drinks Ltd has the recipe for success following funding support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre’s (BIC’s) SME Innovation Programme.

After recognising a gap in the market for milkshakes containing natural ingredients, founders Liam Watson and Simon Bishop had the desire to create amazing drinks that contain real ingredients and also taste great too.

The entrepreneurial duo launched their own brand of all natural milkshakes ‘Canny Milk’ and customers now include Virgin Trains as well as 300 independents stocking the milkshake range.

With obesity on the rise, the company felt it was imperative to develop a sugar free milkshake without using artificial sweeteners. They turned to the SME Innovation Programme to access funding towards their latest creation. Liam explains:

“We approached the BIC with an idea to create a recipe for naturally sweetened milkshakes. We strive to ensure our products not only taste good but provide a great source of nutrients too so we didn’t want to use artificial sweeteners to achieve our sugar free milkshake.

Canny Milk

“With the Innovation Programme grant funding, we were able to access expert food consultants during the development stage which ensured the recipe, process and technical side were managed correctly, mitigating any problems. The support we received from the programme really helped us to achieve our ambitions and the new sugar free chocolate milkshake is now in distribution.”

Gillian Middleton, Innovation Adviser said: “Canny Milk realised the importance of adapting their product to maintain a leading edge in the marketplace. I am delighted the Innovation Programme has been able to support a truly committed, forward thinking business that holds its customers at the forefront of what they do.”

The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) has received £820,439 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund for the SME Innovation Programme as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

For more information on Canny Milk visit

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