20 D2C Brands from the UK you should know
A curated list of 20 in various categories, from coffee, to food, beverage, apparel, home, and more.
There are many many D2Cs crushing it in the UK. This is a curated list of 20 in various categories, from coffee, to food, beverage, apparel, home, and more. They’ve all struck a chord with consumers - so take your notepads out and start learning from these amazing businesses.
What I find most interesting in the British D2C ecosystem is the balance between establishing a local authority and expanding overseas. There’s plenty of growth to go around locally to build a strong business - but the explosion in growth comes from international expansion à la Gymshark.
So, to me, the big question I’d be asking myself if I started a D2C business in the UK is the following: Should it be UK first? Europe-first? or designed to expand beyond Europe quite quickly? Anyways - I digress, here are:
The 20 D2C Brands from the UK you should know
What started off with retail, Grind at Home now lets you bring Grind coffee home - all the way from their roastery in London. Grind is available as compostable pods for Nespresso machines and easily restocked with letterbox-friendly refills. Check out their varied subscription options, interesting from an eCommerce UX standpoint.
Ugly Flavored makes sparkling water with real fruit flavor. A striking can that contains no sugar, no sweetener, no calories and nothing artificial. They’re born in the UK, but now have expanded into the US.
Leaf Envy curates a collection of beautiful indoor plants & perfectly fitting pots to help you create your dream botanical home. They’ve just relaunched a stunning site in June 2020.
Crisp, refreshing and proudly alcohol free, Days is spearheading a change in consumer behavior around non-alcoholic beverages. Check out their Strava club to build community.
This is a fascinating space: Makeup for Men. War Paint is one of the first to explicitly go after it, and it makes sense: The cosmetics industry in the UK alone is worth £27m pounds - and that’s almost an exclusively female market. So a tiny slice of the pie for men already presents a big opportunity for the UK based “War Paint”.
Huel (Human + Fuel) is the UK’s answer to Soylent. They provide meal replacements which contain all the nutrients you need to perform at your peak. According to a recent interview, their annual revenue is around $100m (£76m) - pretty wild for a 6 year old company.
Gymshark is a fitness apparel & accessories brand that first found its niche in the world of body-building in the UK. Gymshark was founded in 2012, by a 20 year old Ben Francis. Gymshark has now become a real threat to Nike and other giants, raking in over £260m in annual sales (2020 metrics). One of the UK’s most notable success stories in DTC.
Hylo makes athletic sneakers for superior performance. As a company, they believe it’s their responsibility to protect the future of sport - so they educate us on sustainability through self-funded documentaries and offer a sustainable sneaker that’s sleek and exploding in popularity.
Allplants thinks that the world (and everyone on it) would be better off if we ate more plants and that plant-based meals should be tasty, easy and convenient. Their delicious meals come frozen, and all you need to do is stick them in the microwave for 8 minutes to enjoy. With £15m in funding from the UK’s best investors including Felix Capital - this is one of UK tech’s darlings in D2C.
Butternut Box is the UK's home for fresh dog food delivery. All of their healthy, freshly prepared meals are delivered direct to your door. A brilliant business founded by 2 friends, Kevin Glynn and David Nolan. Their product is loved by thousands and their subscription offering is perfectly seamless.
Ripple offers botanical blends & zero-nicotine formulas as a non-addictive and plant-powered alternative to cigarettes. Catch these Ripple’s in the hands of every young IG influencer - they’re on the come up!
In a world of sugary, eco-destructive and unadventurous drinks, Punchy thought it was time for something better. So, they began their mission to make better drinks - Today, they’re one of the popular choices in the booming alcoholic RTD space.
Kimaï sells beautiful lab-grown diamonds. All of their jewelry is made-to-order and they work closely with trusted artisans – goldsmiths, polishers and setters – to provide the comfort of knowing where the materials come from.
L'Estrange London make clothing that adds value, not clutter. They research categories, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, filter them through their values, to create subtly innovative and elevated product.
Skin first. Makeup second. 456 Skin sells beauty products that fit into your every day routine. Here you’ll find skincare, makeup, body care, and fragrance, all painstakingly perfected to be worthy of your bathroom shelf.
British tableware brand creating timeless essentials which are meticulously designed to have a place in the everyday. Monoware is still early in its tracks, but the D2C kitchenware opportunity is massive and relatively untapped locally.
Everything your brain needs to thrive can be found in natural food, but everyone struggles to maintain the optimal brain-food diet with the reality of a busy modern life. It’s why Heights was created. Follow Dan Murray Serter on Twitter and socials to get a transparent view into one of the leaders in European D2C.
Spoke makes men's clothing built for fit, with real craftsmanship. Their most famous products are pants and chinos that fit flawlessly. They’ve found their niche and have gone all in on it: FIT. Everything is about fit in everything they do: From the website, to the socials, articles, return policies and the emails. Brilliant focus and execution.
Premium activewear designed for 40+ women. The go-getters, the ass-kickers, the strong and the fabulous. With the sass and swagger that come from knowing you’ve always had it, and still got it. I had the chance to meet the go-getter behind this venture, Stephanie. Take a look Under The Hood of this business here.
Future Noodles are here to make super tasty, plant-based instant noodles that are affordable, convenient and healthy for you and the planet. I’ve seen a few companies tackling this space in the US, and I’m not surprised to see it perfectly executed here. A perfect candidate for D2C, with strong unit economics, a product that’s easy to ship, and a natural stickiness being that instant noodles are a household staple.
Any crucial ones I've missed? Text me!