USA – American producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits Constellation Brands has acquired the remaining interest in ready-to-drink cocktail company, Austin Cocktails.
Founded by sisters, Jill Burns and Kelly Gasink, Austin Cocktails is a Texas-based, cocktail company inspired by a lifelong family tradition.
According to the company’s website, the cocktails “are full-strength cocktails prepared with natural ingredients and premium spirits.”
Constellation Brands first invested in Austin Cocktails in 2018, as part of its Focus on Female Founders programme supporting female-founded or female-led businesses in the alcohol space and adjacent categories.
Following the acquisition, Austin Cocktails, which is currently distributed in 28 states, will be integrated into Constellation’s Fine Wine & Craft Spirits division.
The brand’s offerings include a Bergamot Orange Sparkling Margarita, a Cucumber Vodka Sparkling Mojito and its Ruby Red Cocktail.
Constellation Brands’ EVP and chief growth, strategy and digital officer, Mallika Monteiro, said: “Austin Cocktails and its co-founders, Jill and Kelly, are at the forefront of understanding market trends toward premiumisation.
The quality of their drinks is unmatched in the ready-to-drink category. We’re thrilled to have Jill and Kelly join our team and to leverage Constellation Brands’ scale and reach to support the continued rapid growth of Austin Cocktails’ outstanding products.”
As trends in alcohol evolve CPG companies in food and beverages have been working aggressively to increase their exposure to fast-growing categories like RTD drinks.
The latest data from IWSR showed that the cocktail/long drink category in RTD is still small but has the potential to grow and expand in the near future.
The segment surged more than 50% in 2020 due in large part to on-premise closures and a pivot to “drinks to go,” as well as more at-home consumption and outdoor socialization, according to IWSR.
IWSR predicted the broader RTD category, which includes the popular hard seltzer, to have a 22% volume share of total beverage alcohol by 2025, up from 9.6% share estimated last June.
Constellation is no doubt aiming to capture a larger portion of that growth with the purchase of Austin which saw 2021 sales grow 135%, according as RTD offerings continue to rise in popularity among consumers.
Austin’s acquisition comes just three months after Constellation partnered with Coca-Cola to launch ready-to-drink cocktails through its Fresca brand.
Constellation will produce, market and distribute the line which will be made using real spirits and inspired by recipes created by Fresca drinkers around the world.
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