Heineken acquires stake in pop star’s hard seltzer brand

HEINEKEN UK has acquired a significant minority stake in SERVED, the ready-to-drink brand, co-owned by Ellie Goulding, for an undisclosed sum.

SERVED was created by brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg, and Love Me Like You Do artist Ellie Goulding in 2020.

The range includes ready-to-drink cocktails and hard seltzers, made using natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, ‘wonky’ fruit, and premium spirits.

The partnership will see HEINEKEN support the brand into its next stage alongside the opportunity to take a leadership position in the wider UK RTD market. The founders will continue to build the brand independently as they further establish its premium and relatively ‘better-for-you’ positioning.

The UK RTD category has grown 47.5% in five years and was worth £866m in 2022. The ready-to-drink cocktail category grew by 24% last year. As consumers look to enjoy high-quality cocktails in a convenient and sustainable format, it seems the trend is set to continue.

Co founder Dean Ginsberg said: “Our focus has been on building a brand that truly resonates with the next generation of drinkers. We are extremely proud of what the team has achieved in a short period of time, but our vison has always been to lead the category, and this partnership with HEINEKEN will enable us to accelerate our growth and maximise the potential of the brand.”

Ellie Goulding said: “It’s always been important to us that any partner of SERVED must share the same values and vision for the future. Through our discussions and work together over the last nine months, we are excited to be partnering with HEINEKEN – a family business with a strong vision for the category and set of values that align with our own.”

Boudewijn Haarsma, Managing Director of HEINEKEN UK said: “We have been interested in expanding our premium portfolio beyond beer and cider, seeking the right opportunity to invest in new growth categories. Dean, Ryan and Ellie have built something unique and special in SERVED and we’re excited about the prospect of partnering with them and building the proposition for the future.”

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