Ritual Zero Proof currently produces zero-alcohol alternatives to whisky and gin.
Diageo, through its Distill Ventures accelerator, has invested in US alcohol-free spirits brand Ritual Zero Proof.
The investment will help drive Ritual’s growth in the US, investing in its direct-to-consumer business and supporting its entry into retail.
Founded in Chicago by three best friends, Marcus Sakey, GG Sakey and David Crooch, Ritual aims to meet growing consumer demand for interesting alternatives for consumers who choose not to drink alcohol.
Crafted for use in cocktails, Ritual can be swapped with traditional spirits to make non-alcoholic versions of classic recipes.
Ritual gin alternative is said to mirror the flavour of gin with cucumber, juniper berries, mint and basil; the whiskey alternative is described as “warm and soulful”, with notes of oak and vanilla.
“This is a movement,” said Marcus Sakey, founding partner and chief brand officer of Ritual Zero Proof. “Just like almond milk and veggie burgers, spirit alternatives are changing the landscape.
Ritual Zero Proof founders (from left): David Crooch, Marcus Sakey and GG Sakey.
“In 18 months, we predict non-alcoholic options will be on every menu and the shelves of every grocery store. Americans want more choice, and Ritual Zero Proof is all about more – more flavour, more moments, more life, that is.”
Eugene Khabensky, ventures director, Diageo, said: “We are excited to support such an interesting new brand in the vibrant non-alcoholic space. We put the consumer at the heart of our business, and Ritual Zero Proof is a fantastic offering that provides consumers with more choices of the highest quality.”
As is customary with all companies that work with Distill Ventures, the founders and current investors of Ritual will retain majority ownership, with Diageo holding a minority stake. They will continue to run the business independently as the company continues to expand.
The announcement comes five months after Diageo bought a significant majority shareholding in UK-based non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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