Diageo acquires Lone River Ranch Water hard seltzer
Keen for a slice of the seltzer action, drinks giant Diageo has acquired Texas-based Far West Spirits, maker of the Lone River Ranch Water hard seltzer brand.
As reported by Forbes, the terms of the deal were not revealed, but Lone River’s founder, Katie Beal Brown, has retained a minority stake in the company. “We are excited to bring this vibrant young hard seltzer brand into our growing ready-to-drink portfolio.
“Lone River captures the magic of Americans’ love for agave flavoured beverages combined with their desire for light, convenient refreshment,” said Debra Crew, president of Diageo North America.
Beal Brown founded Far West Spirits in 2019 and launched Lone River Ranch Water last May. According to Nielsen, off-trade sales have already reached over US£5.5 million.
As part of the deal Beal Brown will oversee the day-to-day operations as CEO, working with Diageo to grow the brand in the US and internationally.
“We found in Diageo a world-class partner that believes in our vision to bring the spirit of Far West Texas to as many as we can,” Beal Brown said.
The agave and lime-based hard seltzer is currently on sale in Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Florida and Tennessee.
The 4% ABV Ranch Water comes in four flavours: Original, Spicy, Rio Red Grapefruit and Prickly Pear. Each 12oz can contains 80 calories.
Among its competitiors are the Heinieken-owned Dos Equis Ranch Water, which is due to launch next month.
According to Nielsen, sales of hard seltzers surpassed US$4.3 billion over the last year. Diageo is clearly keen to be a serious player in the growing RTD market.
Among the RTDs in its portfolio are: Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer; Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz; Tanqueray Crafted Gin Cocktails; and Crown Royal cocktails in a can.