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Diageo strikes Stirrings deal

Diageo has confirmed it is to increase its holdings in cocktail mixer company Stirrings to 100% as the global drinks giant seeks to tap into the growing at-home cocktail market.

Diageo initially made a 20% minority investment in Stirrings in 2007 and has now decided to integrate all of the Stirrings portfolio into its business.

Larry Schwartz, president of Diageo USA, said: “This is a great opportunity to further grow the Stirrings brand and create more synergies with Diageo’s array of leading spirits brands.

“As people entertain more at home, they are looking for an easy way to serve bar-quality cocktails and Stirrings fits squarely within our at-home strategy.”

As a result of the acquisition, the Stirrings brands will join all Diageo brands in its distributor houses across the US.

Steve Rust, senior vice president of reserve brands, will oversee sales for all Stirrings products for Diageo.

Bob Swartz will stay on as CEO of Stirrings, overseeing the commercial business and liquid development.

He will be joined by Larry Freedman, who will continue to be responsible for innovation, operations and quality for the Stirrings line.

Stirrings was established in 1997 by entrepreneurs Gil Maclean and Bill Creelman, both of whom will remain as consultants to the Stirrings business.

“When we started Stirrings 12 years ago, our focus was on giving people a great cocktail experience.  That’s why we always use the freshest, highest quality ingredients,” said Maclean.

The Stirrings portfolio consists of over 50 products such as premium mixers (Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Pomegranate Martini), Rimmer brand cocktail garnishes (Margarita Salt, Pomegranate, Cosmopolitan), and classic bar ingredients (Dirty Martini, Grenadine, Blood Orange, Bitters).

Alan Lodge, 17.06.2009 

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