Beam Suntory has bought premium pre-mixed cocktail brand On The Rocks for an undisclosed sum, in a move to grow its spirits-based ready-to-drink portfolio.
The recent acquisition builds on Beam Suntory’s previously-owned minority stake in the brand.
Founded in 2015, On The Rocks made a name for itself early in the field with premium collaborations in the airline and hotel industry. In 2018, the start-up signed an agreement with Beam Suntory which saw it roll out a line of pre-mixed cocktails featuring Beam Suntory’s spirit brands.
In 2019, the exclusive co-branded beverages – including Old Fashioned with Knob Creek Bourbon and Mai Tai made with Cruzan Rum – expanded throughout retail stores, bars and restaurants across the US.
According to the producer of Jim Bean Bourbon and Courvoisier Cognac, sales for On The Rocks Premium Cocktails doubled in the first six months of 2020.
“On the Rocks is the pioneer in the premium pre-mixed cocktails category, and joining forces couldn’t come at a better time,” said Albert Baladi, president and CEO of Beam Suntory.
He added: “On The Rocks is perfectly positioned to address evolving consumer preferences, including convenience, quality, the emerging home-premise, and cocktails-to-go. We see tremendous opportunity to expand the On The Rocks brand to new occasions, formats, cocktail recipes, and the low-ABV space.”
Following the transaction, On The Rocks founders Patrick Halbert and Rocco Milano will continue to play leading roles within the brand as it joins the Beam Suntory portfolio.
Halbert said: “On The Rocks is extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished and the leadership position we’ve built in this rapidly growing sector over the last five years.
“We are thrilled to join the Beam Suntory family, its world-class portfolio of premium brands, and its tremendous people. With our combined expertise in delivering quality and premium products, we’re confident that this is just the beginning as we pursue market leadership and delight consumers with high-quality premium cocktails in convenient formats.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019