Drinks funding

Scotmid and Scottish Enterprise back drinks firm

Founders of Alcoholic Water Company

Scotmid Coop and Scottish Enterprise have backed a fledgling Glasgow-based drinks company with a six-figure investment.

Those behind the Alcoholic Water Company, which is producing hard seltzers, include Start-Up Drinks Lab founders Craig Strachan and Hannah Fisher.

They have partnered with Drew Shannon and Greg Saunders, the founders of London-based Whitelabel Group, which owns Warp & Woof and Sidecar.

Nick Baxter joined the team in July as UK head of sales, bringing more than 15 years’ experience for Coca Cola, Britvic and most recently Jägermeister.

Scotmid Coop has acquired a minority stake in the company, and will provide support and mentoring.

Hard seltzers – essentially alcoholic, flavoured water – have rapidly grown in popularity in the US over the last few years, recently crossing the pond.

The UK hard seltzer market value is currently worth £10.4m and based on its growth, the potential market value is estimated at £75m by 2023.

John Brodie, chief executive at Scotmid Coop, said: “We can see from our retail insight that this is a fast growing sector of the market and there are opportunities to establish a brand at the premium end.”

The company has launched its first brand, Lilo, crafted to be lighter in calories and lower in alcohol, only using natural ingredients, Scottish water and botanical spirits.

Jan Robertson, interim director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “The founders’ industry experience and entrepreneurial vision has seen them recognise and quickly capitalise on a great opportunity in the drinks market – this investment will help them build on their solid start by supporting the growth of their footprint in the UK and overseas.”

Hannah Fisher, managing director at The Alcoholic Water Company, added: “This seed investment will support our ambitious growth plans including extending our presence in UK grocers, expanding internationally and cementing our commitment to a better future for all through achieving our B-Corp accreditation.”

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