SomruS secures $3.6m investment by disrupting status quo of the liqueur market

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

Using traditional spices from India like cardamom and saffron in its formulation, SomruS aims to set itself apart in the liqueurs space. ©GettyImages/Dzevoniia
Using traditional spices from India like cardamom and saffron in its formulation, SomruS aims to set itself apart in the liqueurs space. ©GettyImages/Dzevoniia
SomruS, a Chicago-based line of liqueurs, has secured $3.6m in growth funding from venture capital firm, Cleveland Avenue, and aims to achieve US national distribution in 2018.

SomPriya launched SomruS (which literally translates to “nectar of the gods”​ in ancient Indian dialect) in 2014 in Illinois and New Jersey and is now available in 19 states. 

SomruS Bottle

The company says the liqueur is inspired by the tastes and flavors of India using a blend of dairy cream and hand-crafted rum as well as ingredients like cardamom, saffron, pistachios, and rose.

“Part of why we invest in an emerging brand is its potential to disrupt the status quo,”​ founder and CEO of Cleveland Avenue, Don Thompson, said.

“SomruS is truly breaking norms in liqueur market by introducing flavors, tastes, and aromas from the Indian subcontinent representing one-fifth of the world’s population.”

Tapping into liqueur market

Liqueurs and cordials account for 10-12% of all spirits sales with the global liqueurs market valued at $111bn in 2016 and the market is projected to reach $131bn by 2023, according to Allied Market Research.

Founder of SomruS, Pankaj (PK) Garg, said the goal of the company is to become a top 10 brand in the global liqueur and cordials market where brands such as Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Jagermeister currently dominate the category.

“Top liqueur brands reflect countries of inspiration from around the world,”​ Garg said.  

Garg said that SomruS is benefitting from the rising global palate and eclectic tastes of millennial consumers and as a result has achieved a 70% to 80% customer base that is “non-ethnic”​ with a “health repeat business”.

Bringing SomruS to India

While SomruS may be influenced by flavors and ingredients from India, the liqueurs category there “practically doesn’t exist as of now​,” Garg said.

A long-term goal for the company is to bring its line of liqueurs to India to take advantage more than 500 million people who will reach the legal drinking age by 2018 (more than the population of the US and Mexico combined).

“Taking SomruS to India is the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for us,”​ SomruS board member and seed investor, Jai Shekhawat, said.

“SomruS is designed to be India-scalable. However, at present we are building the brand in the top liqueur/cordials markets with the US being the largest.”

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