Diageo acquires Texas hard seltzer Lone River Ranch Water
Lone River is a hard seltzer that takes inspiration from the popular classic Texan “Ranch Water” cocktail.
The company was founded in 2019 by native Texan, Katie Beal Brown, who will retain a minority interest and continue to lead the business on a day to day basis as CEO.
The brand is ‘inspired by the spirit of West Texas and its sense of adventure’, lending itself to days spent outdoors and to enjoying relaxed occasions with family and friends.
The portfolio has three varieties: Original (flavored with organic blue agave nectar and lime juice); Spicy (Ranch Water with a kick of the Texas state pepper, jalapeño); and Rio Red Grapefruit (Ranch Water with a squeeze of Rio Red Grapefruit juice, the Texas state fruit).
Diageo notes that the RTD category has gained momentum in the US over the course of the pandemic, driven by consumer trends such as interest in lower sugar, lower calorie and gluten free offerings, as well as increased demand for convenient formats that are ideal for casual and at-home occasions.
Between 2016 and 2019, the category grew 20%, driven by growth of 259% in the hard seltzer segment.
RTD alcohol represents around 4% of Diageo’s net sales globally; but grew 13% in the latter half of 2020 with North America and Australia leading broad-based growth across all regions. In North America, volumes grew 25%.
Debra Crew, President, Diageo North America, said: “Lone River captures the magic of Americans’ love for agave flavoured beverages combined with their desire for light, convenient refreshment. This acquisition is very much in keeping with our strategy to acquire high growth brands in fast growing categories and we look forward to working with Katie and her team to drive Lone River’s continued momentum.”