Novel carrier for teacups storms US market with Innovate UK EDGE help

Muggi drinks carrier

A Cornwall innovator has revamped its business strategy, secured a £23,000 bank loan and expanded into the US market, all with help from Innovate UK EDGE.

muggi has developed the ‘world’s most versatile drinks carrier’, using a combination of recycled post-industrial, household, and marine plastics.

David Trotter, Founder of muggi, conceived the idea while trying to transport multiple hot drinks around a ship during a force seven gale. 

His award-winning, highly durable tray design features non-slip feet that ensure stability in challenging environments, spill catchers and a single hand grip. 

muggi is used extensively by sailors and motorhome owners, as well as businesses such as restaurants and offices that aim to reduce spills and improve health and safety.  

Slips and trips are the most common cause of non-fatal workplace injuries, according to the Health and Safety Executive, with 90% of slips caused by wet floors

“We’re also focusing on elderly people and the disabled community,” says David, “muggi leaves a spare hand to help negotiate your surroundings – which is a small thing that helps support a sense of independence.”

Recycled materials used in design

muggi manufactures its products in the UK using a range of recycled plastics including ghost fishing nets sourced off the coast of Cornwall.

“muggi was inspired by a journey on the ocean, so its satisfying to close the loop,” says David, “the product is guaranteed for 88 years so the carbon from that waste plastic is locked in for a lifetime.” 

Growth support from Innovate UK EDGE helps US market entry 

In April 2020, David began work with Innovate UK EDGE Access to Finance Specialist, Phil Tellwright. “I’m an inventor at heart and needed some intelligent guidance on the business strategy side of things,” says David, “Phil’s support was absolutely outstanding.” 

“He took time to really understand my business and help it restructure and grow. That’s the kind of invaluable support that a business of my size would never be able to afford independently of Innovate UK EDGE.”

Phil helped muggi develop a three-year business plan and prepare for a bank loan application, securing a £23,000 finance package from HSBC. The funds will be used to fuel growth in the US market and fulfill an order of 16,400 units from American shopping channel network, QVC. 

“On top of that, my Innovation and Growth Specialist, Dee Temple-Multon, has been extremely proactive in spotting relevant opportunities and helping muggi grow. She’s also helped deliver some fantastic social media support, which was really useful as I don’t have a marketing team.”

muggi is now exporting to The Netherlands, New Zealand and the Nordics, as well as the US, and is growing rapidly year-on-year despite the pandemic. Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support this Cornwall innovator expand across the globe with its novel drinks tray.

Phil’s support was absolutely outstanding. He took time to really understand my business and help it restructure and grow."

David Trotter, Founder at muggi