AB InBev has announced an investment in ready-to-drink cocktail company Canteen Spirits, as well as a new distribution partnership.
The cocktail company received an undisclosed investment from ZX Ventures – the global investment and innovation group of AB InBev; while its distribution deal was signed with Anheuser-Busch.
Founded in 2019, Canteen Spirits offers Canteen – a vodka-based canned cocktail in seven vodka flavours including black cherry, watermelon, pineapple, lime, and cucumber mint – and Cantina, a new tequila-based cocktail that launched earlier this month in three flavours: Watermelon Margarita, Ranch Water and Grapefruit Paloma.
The drinks are available nationwide and are low carb, low ABV and contain zero sugar. The news comes shortly after Canteen Spirits secured $31 million in funding to boost its US expansion and open a new facility.
Canteen Spirits joins Anheuser-Busch’s family of distribution partnerships within its ‘beyond beer’ portfolio, such as 101 North Wine Collection and Ghost Energy. The company’s ‘beyond beer’ business – which grew more than 40% in its first-quarter – focuses on seltzers, wine and spirits, malt-based beverages and non-alcoholic beverages.
“Consumers sit at the centre of everything we do at Anheuser-Busch and that’s why we’re focused on expanding and innovating within our beyond beer portfolio to meet their changing needs,” said Fabricio Zonzini, president of beyond beer at AB InBev.
“I’m excited to work with the team at Canteen Spirits and look forward to bringing their amazing line-up of products to our unparalleled distribution network.”
Brandon Cason, CEO of Canteen Spirits, added: “Ready to drink cocktails are one of the fastest-growing and most competitive alcohol beverage categories in the US market and we couldn’t be more thrilled at what we’ve been able to accomplish at Canteen Spirits in just two years.
“We are incredibly proud of this distribution partnership with Anheuser-Busch, which will allow us to leverage their expertise in logistics and distribution to help us grow at an expedited pace.”
Maxx Karr, investment principal of beverage fund at ZX Ventures, said: “We’re proud to invest in Canteen Spirits, which has quickly established an impressive following in the US since its 2019 launch.”
Last month, ZX Ventures announced a partnership with Clara Foods, which will focus on exploring opportunities to apply large-scale fermentation and downstream processing expertise beyond beer.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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