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Spiritus Ventures acquires RTD cocktail company No. 96

Investment firm Spiritus Ventures has signed a deal to buy the high end ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail business No. 96 for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition, which will see New York-based Spiritus Ventures offering investment, expertise, and commercial distribution support, will tap into the RTD segment which is expected to continue to grow exponentially over the next five years.

As db reported, the RTD category is expected to grow by 12% in volume between 2022 and 2027, hitting US$40bn by 2027 across 10 key markets, despite a US decline in hard seltzers marking a slowdown from previous years.

According to recent findings from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, growth will be driven by the key cocktails and long drinks subcategory and products that sit within the premium-and-above price bracket.

No. 96 takes its inspiration from the history of the Manhattan Club in The Benkard Mansion on 96 Fifth Avenue in New York during the late 1800s. The business was developed at the beginning of the pandemic and went through several iterations before it being perfected and marketed in southern California in September 2021.

Speaking about the acquisition, Spiritus Ventures founder Gjon Lulgjuraj said: “We see a fantastic opportunity for the brand to tap into the rising demand for handcrafted, high-quality pre-mixed cocktails in the luxury hospitality and F&B industry in response to changing consumer expectations, especially amongst the younger and more discerning guest.”

Lulgjuraj added: “RTD cocktails are at the forefront of beverage trends and we have identified the hospitality and F&B industry as a unique opportunity to get these exceptional beverages in front of buyers. By incorporating RTD cocktails into your hotel or restaurant offerings, you not only stay on-trend but also provide a convenient and high-quality option for guests.”

RTD cocktails have been growing of late with China expected to become a major player in the category over the next five years and globally, the RTD cocktail demographic is predominantly Generation Z, who are 9% more likely than the average consumer to order a cocktail, according to research from CGA by NIQ.

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