Heineken acquires stake in Ellie Goulding’s RTD brand

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Heineken is expanding its portfolio beyond beer and cider. Pic: Heineken
Heineken is expanding its portfolio beyond beer and cider. Pic: Heineken

Related tags Heineken hard seltzer RTD RTD alcohol Uk

Heineken UK has acquired a ‘significant’ minority stake in Served, the ready-to-drink brand co-owned by Ellie Goulding.

Served was created by brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg, and Ellie Goulding in 2020. Launched as a hard seltzer brand, in May this year it expanded into RTD cocktails with the launch of mojito, passion fruit martini and pina colada drinks.

Its range includes RTD cocktails and hard seltzers, made using ‘only the finest natural and sustainably sourced ingredients, ‘wonky’ fruit, and premium spirits.’

The investment (value of which has not been disclosed) will see Heineken help the brand aim towards a leadership position in the UK RTD market.

Heineken says the founders will continue to build the brand - already one of the fastest growing RTDs in the UK - 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 ($1,070m) in 2022, according to Mintel figures. Heineken highlights 24% growth for the category last year, saying that consumers are looking for high-quality cocktails in a convenient and sustainable format.

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.”

Served says its focus to date has been on building a brand that resonates with the next generation of drinkers; but the partnership with Heineken will enable it to accelerate growth and maximise potential.

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.”

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