Scotmid Co-op and Scottish Enterprise have joined forces to invest in the Alcoholic Water Company Ltd, a hard seltzer business set up by a team of drinks industry entrepreneurs.
The business, set up in 2019, wants to develop the “world’s most sought after portfolio of hard seltzers” – alcoholic flavoured waters. It is a collaboration between Glasgow based innovation facility The Start-Up Drinks Lab and drinks-marketing agency London-based Whitelabel Group.
It has been launched by the founders of Glasgow based craft drink manufacturing facility The Start-Up Drinks Lab, Craig Strachan and Hannah Fisher, and the founders of Whitelabel Group, Drew Shannon and Greg Saunders – who own specialist drinks-marketing businesses in UK and USA – Warp & Woof and Sidecar, respectively. They say their team have the skills in sales, marketing, export, accountancy, liquid development and manufacturing, which will enable then to launch new brands within three months.
Scotmid Co-op has purchased a minority stake, and says it will brings trade expertise from its grocery network, alongside mentoring and business support.
The co-op’s CEO John Brodie said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the founders to establish this start-up. They bring not only experience but drive and passion to the brand. 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.”
Jan Robertson, interim director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency, 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.”