E & J Gallo winery acquires female-empowerment brand Bev
E & J Gallo Winery has bought premium canned wines and spritzers company Bev – a female-owned business that aims to empower women – two years after it obtained exclusive US distribution rights for company’s portfolio.
Bev was founded by entrepreneur Alix Peabody with the aim to change not only the drinks in people’s hands, but also the culture surrounding drinking. Describing the company on her Linked-In page as “canned rosé, made by chicks”, she aims to boost female and minority empowerment and inclusivity across beverage industry, under the tag line, “Do it different, do it better. Break the glass”.
Peabody said that for Bev, “breaking the glass is about empowering communities and inspiring people to celebrate themselves and own their fun.”
She said that when she met Gallo’s CMO Stephanie Gallo, it became “immediately clear that Gallo’s values and commitment to women and diversity in the industry is exemplary of the exact change we aim to create”.
“We could not be more excited for this partnership and can’t wait to expand the reach of our products and our community,” she said
Gallo agreed that after meeting Peabody she wanted to find a way for the two companies to work together, sensing “the power of the Bev brand” and respecting “the innovation and unique approach to reaching consumers”, which aligned with E & J Gallo’s own guiding ethos.
“At Gallo, we are on a mission to serve joy as we win new friends for wine, which means ensuring consumers have access to products that make them feel welcome,” she explained. “As an industry, we are adapting and evolving to remain relevant to the next generation of alcohol beverage consumers. I see the Bev portfolio as a welcome addition to Gallo’s product family that will allow us to continue to offer our consumers beverage options to celebrate any occasion.”
Bev’s range comprises a range of zero-sugar, gluten-free, 11.9% ABV canned wines containing around 100 calories per serving, which retail between $15.99 and $17.99 for a four-pack. It includes a Californian rosé, a Sauvignon Blanc (Bev Blanc), a sparkling Pinot Grigio (Bev Gris), a Californian Pinot Noir (Bev Noir), a sparkling white wine (Bev Glitz), a sparkling rosé (Bev Glam), a sparkling Californian Sauvignon Blanc (Bev Glow), a white wine spritz (Bev PRIDE), and the newly released Bev Brite, a trio of low-ABV lower calorie drinks, described as “spritzers reinvented”.
Peabody, who started her career working for a hedge fund, previously run a successful San Francisco-based events business that promoted a safe space for people to party within a respectful drinking culture. She founded that business in her early 20’s in order to fund a $20,000 medical bill for a debilitating ovarian condition that required her to freeze her eggs at the age of just 24.
In an article in Marie-Claire in 2020, she explained that this business had led her to investigate how to make the social scene more approachable for women and how a drinking culture could be more female-friendly, which resulted in her founding Bev in 2017. Two years later, the company received a $7 million investment boost from San Francisco venture capital company, Founders Fund, allowing it to expand.
Peabody wrote in Marie-Claire that the beverage industry was “one of the most antiquated in America today”.
“I really believe that it is a space that needs a voice that represents women and people who are different,” she was reported as saying. “We’re about having fun in a respectful way. It’s not about just selling rosé. For me, it’s building a brand that really stands for something and encourages people to explore new points of view.”