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Rhode Island’s Loyal 9 Cocktails Acquired by Global Beverage Leader Diageo

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Sunday, April 18, 2021

 

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Photo: Diageo

Loyal 9 Cocktails, a rapidly growing spirits-based ready-to-drink brand from Rhode Island’s Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, has been acquired by the multinational beverage company Diageo

Diageo, one of the world’s largest producers of spirits and beers, counts among its brands Guinness, Smirnoff, Ketel One, Captain Morgan, Bulleit, and more. 

Launched in 2018 in Rhode Island, Loyal 9’s vodka-based ready-to-drink cocktails include such flavors as Lemonade, Mixed Berry Lemonade, and Watermelon Lemonade, and are all gluten-free and produced with 100% real fruit.

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Ready-to-Drink Cocktail Sector Booming

According to Diageo, with a retail sales value of over $7.8 billion in 2019, ready-to-drink (RTD) is the fastest-growing category in total beverage alcohol in the United States, growing 20% between 2016 and 2019.

RTDs have increasingly gained momentum in the United States over the last year, driven by consumer interest in enjoying cocktails at home and demand for a range of drinks in convenient formats that are ideal for casual and at-home occasions.

“Loyal 9 hits an RTD ‘sweet spot’, merging American consumers’ growing appreciation for better quality ingredients with the full flavor lemonade they love, and a classic Americana feel,” said Debra Crew, President, Diageo North America. “We have a clear strategy to build and diversify our RTD offerings across price points and consumer segments, and Loyal 9 is a great addition to our portfolio, which is also growing through the recent acquisition of Lone River and innovations from several of our brands.”

Diageo’s spirits-based RTD portfolio includes recently launched spirits-based RTD innovations such as Crown Royal Ready to Drink Cocktails, Tanqueray Crafted Gin Cocktails and Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz.

Mike Reppucci, CEO of Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, said: “True to Loyal 9’s revolutionary roots, we created this brand to introduce something even better for our consumers.  Loyal 9 is a new and delicious RTD that uses great quality ingredients, is full-flavored and without compromise. It’s been a fantastic adventure to create and lead Loyal 9’s development to this stage, and we’re excited to be passing the baton to Diageo to take this great brand to the next level.” 

The acquisition will be funded through existing cash resources. The sale price was not disclosed. 

 

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