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Heineken buys stake in Ellie Goulding’s Served drinks brand

Heineken has acquired a minority stake in the singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding’s Served hard seltzer and ready-to-drink cocktail brand.

Served, which was originally launched back in 2020 by Dean and Ryan Ginsberg — initially as just a hard seltzer — welcomed Goulding as a co-owner in 2021 when she bought a stake in the brand after being introduced by mutual friends and sharing an eco-minded ethos.

By spring 2023, the trio launched a range of additional RTD canned cocktails, expanding its offer to include pre-mixed Mojitos, Passion Fruit Martinis and Piña Colada and join its original line of hard seltzer options.

The partnership with Heineken will assist Served in growing Britain’s RTD sector, a sub-category of pre-mixed drinks which the UK White Spirits and RTDs Market Report 2023 by Mintel recently reavealed is valued at an estimated £866m (US$1.07bn).

Speaking about the agreement, Goulding said: “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.”

Dean Ginsberg explained: “This is a significant milestone for the business. To date, our focus has been on building a brand that truly resonates with the next generation of drinkers. We are extremely proud of what the team has achieved in a short period of time, but our vison has always been to lead the category, and this partnership with Heineken will enable us to accelerate our growth and maximise the potential of the brand.”

Heineken UK managing director Boudewijn Haarsma added: “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.”

The value and size of the minority stake has not been disclosed, however now that Served has extra supported investment there are rumours across the industry that it is set for growth. Served is already available nationwide and can be found at retailers including: Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Planet Organic as well as Ocado, WHSmith, Daylesford Organic, Amazon, and the Served webshop.

Additionally, 5% of profits from each can sold are invested towards environmental projects and saving endangered species around the world which ties in with Goulding’s other pursuits which place her as a global goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Programme.

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