Canned Wined firm NICE celebrates 400% YOY growth and appoints new Chairman

NICE Co-founders Lucy Busk (L) and Jeremy May

London-based wine startup, NICE sells a can of wine every 10 seconds; the small, ambitious team is experiencing 400% growth so far in 2022 compared with the same period in 2021.

The female-led business is also forecasting sales of £5.1 million in 2022 (having posted a £1.6million turnover in 2021). Their distribution includes Sainsbury’s, Ocado, Amazon, WHSmith, all Virgin Atlantic flights, Wagamama, Domino’s Pizza, as well as over 30 major sports stadiums, music venues, airlines, theatres, cinemas and restaurants; you can also expect to catch NICE at over 100 festivals this summer.

NICE is led by two South London-based entrepreneurs with a background in leading some of the most successful and innovative food startups in Britain: Lucy Busk (ex Co-Founder of Cuckoo bircher muesli and Ananas Consulting) and Jeremy May (ex Propercorn and Vita Coco). This depth of experience gave the pair the confidence and know-how to achieve £300,000 of investment from angel investors prior to launch.

Key players in this investment are Cassandra Stavrou and Ryan Kohn of Propercorn; a more recent notable investment has come from Grace Beverly, social media influencer and Founder of the direct-to-consumer fitness brands TALA and Shreddy.

NICE also recently announced that Shilen Patel has joined as Non-Exec Chairman. Patel says: “NICE is genuinely a ‘future wine company’ looking to change the way the world drinks wine. It was the scale of this ambition, alongside the sheer quality of the founding team, that made joining NICE an obvious decision for me. I look forward to working with Founders Lucy Busk and Jeremy May to now deliver this vision”.

Shilen Patel brings over 25 years of industry experience having held a number of senior roles at Diageo and Co-founding Distill Ventures, Diageo’s accelerator for start-up drinks brands.

Where next for NICE?

Not only is the business expanding, but also the range. NICE boxed wine launched to Ocado and Amazon at the end of 2021. One of the fastest-growing segments within still wines, the boxed wine category has grown by £60 million since 2020, and is now worth £324 million; this represents more than 5% of all wine sold in supermarkets.

With NICE canned wine already popular in fast-casual dining, restaurant delivery and pubs, the brand has also recently launched 20-litre keg wine on tap with Boxpark Shoreditch and Newcastle Central Park.

Co-Founder Lucy Busk considers the next steps for NICE: “The last 18 months have been fast-paced at NICE and we’re excited to be leading the way in creating a Future Wine Company – a wine brand with a face and a personality that’s determined to change the way wine is drunk, marketed and talked about, and we’re also keen to rethink the way a wine business can, and should, be run.

“To us, that means everything from bringing more diversity into the industry, making wine more approachable and less intimidating, becoming B CORP certified and continuing to think about what the future of wine looks like and what consumer needs are. For so long, the wine industry has been confusing, intimidating, focused on one way of thinking – all that is changing.”