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Founders’ Spirit

Lucozade and Ribena are at the heart of our business and are loved by consumers throughout the world. These brands have evolved with more than 93 years of knowledge, insight and expertise.
Their stories both start with innovators. Scientists with the Yatte Minahare spirit, who had a clear purpose and the nation’s health in their hearts. 

Ribena, created by Dr Vernon Charley, was intended to provide valuable vitamins and antioxidants, while Lucozade was created by William Hunter to help sick children to restore and retain their energy. 

Suntory was founded in the 1890s by the bold game-changer - Shinjiro Torii.
He had an ambition to bring western whisky to his home country of Japan and make it popular. 

Each of our founders shared a common spirit. They all wanted to do something totally different, were passionate about sharing their success with society and each left a lasting legacy.

Our founders’ spirit can be seen in our people and our culture today. As a business, we are lucky to have great people, people who inspire, who go the extra mile, who continually strive to be the best that they can be and who deliver big and small revolutions daily.

It is this mentality that steers us to produce some of the nation’s best-loved drinks.  

Shinjiro Torii

Shinjiro Torii 

The Suntory founder was a dreamer, trailblazer and entrepreneur who built a drinks empire, but he remained humble and he always strived to contribute to society. 

Shinjiro created western-style liquors to suit Japanese palates.His pioneering drinks included a port wine and a Japanese whisky - he built Japan’s first malt whisky distillery in the process.

Most crucially, Shinjiro Torii ingrained Suntory with the belief that businesses should put some of their profits back into society.

Dr Vernon Charley

Dr Vernon Charley 

Dr Vernon Charley was a leading scientist at The University of Bristol who developed Ribena after becoming aware of the high levels of vitamin C that blackcurrants contained. 

His work in the 1930s ultimately led to the creation of Ribena in 1938 and significantly, the blackcurrant cordial was distributed free to children and expectant mothers during WWII when other fruits with vitamin C became increasingly scarce.

Our Coleford factory that produces Ribena remains in The Forest of Dean, where Dr Charley spent most of his life.

William Hunter

William Hunter

William Hunter, was a Newcastle-based chemist who initially created ‘Glucozade’ to help his unwell daughter get better. 

Hunter was driven by a determination to help the sick and applied his knowledge of carbonation and bottling to create an improved drink he called Lucozade. This was in 1927.

The drink was the first to combine great taste with glucose and was used extensively throughout hospital wards and was prescribed in pharmacies in the years that followed. 

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Acting with Integrity

Lucozade Ribena Suntory has a well-established Corporate Governance structure, read more here.