Ugly Drinks: The Startup Disrupting the Food & Drinks Industry

Every now and then a startup bursts onto the scene, disrupting a well established and static industry – in the soda world, that startup is Ugly Drinks.

Ugly Drinks was launched in the UK in 2016 by co-founders Hugh Thomas and Joe Benn. They wanted to provide a fun drink option for people who don’t want to drink sugary sodas, but still want something more flavoursome than water.

Ugly is an all-natural, fruit infused, carbonated water that gives you that cold can of soda feeling with none of the sugar or calories.

Ugly Drinks' unusual brand name and vibrant packaging are another way they are disrupting the health food market. While many brands in this niche traditionally go for simple, clean imagery, Ugly wanted a fun, fresh style. Their tongue-in-cheek slogan ‘because you’re sweet enough already’ and their social hashtag #glugugly help position Ugly as a fun and down-to-earth brand.

We’ll let co-founder Hugh tell you more about Ugly Drinks and their vision.


After introducing us to his innovative new drink Hugh spoke to Expert Market co-founder and President, Titus Sharpe, about what to look for in a co-founder noting that he had worked with his own business partner for a few years before they ventured out on their own.

The interview also saw Hugh answer one of the most important questions for budding entrepreneurs – where do you get your funding? And finally, Hugh offers up his advice for anyone looking to start their own business.


The UK food scene isn’t the only place being shaken up by some new kids on the block. Check out these other articles on disruptive startups;

Know of a startup that is making waves in an established industry? Let us know on Twitter at @ExpertMarketUS