Diageo has acquired the spirits-based, ready to drink brand Loyal 9 Cocktails from Sons of Liberty Spirits Company.
Launched in 2018 in Rhode Island, Loyal 9’s vodka-based RTD lemonade cocktails are 9% ABV. The portfolio includes Lemonade, Mixed Berry Lemonade and Watermelon Lemonade. These canned cocktails are gluten-free and produced with 100% real fruit, the company says.
This comes at a time when the RTC category is trending significantly, following a 39.1% growth in U.S. sales last year, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
“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,” says 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 RTDs such as Crown Royal Ready to Drink Cocktails, Tanqueray Crafted Gin Cocktails and Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz.
“True to Loyal 9’s revolutionary roots, we created this brand to introduce something even better for our consumers,” says Mike Reppucci, CEO of Sons of Liberty Spirits Company. “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.