One of the hottest trends in 2020, with bars and restaurants hampered by Covid-19, is ready-to-drink cocktails. These products allow consumers a taste of mixology in the safety of their own homes.
Accordingly, larger alcohol companies have begun investing more in this area. Beam Suntory has bought On The Rocks, a ready-to-drink cocktail brand.
Beam Suntory previously owned a minority interest in On The Rocks, which features Beam Suntory’s brands in its range of spirits-based pre-mixed cocktails.
“On the Rocks is the pioneer in the premium pre-mixed cocktails category, and joining forces couldn’t come at a better time,” says Albert Baladi, president & CEO of Beam Suntory. “On The Rocks is perfectly positioned to address evolving consumer preferences, including convenience, quality, the emerging home-premise, and cocktails-to-go. We have an ambition to become number one in the spirits-based ready-to-drink market, and On The Rocks will be a key growth platform that we’ll build along with our fast-growing pre-mixed highball products. We see tremendous opportunity to expand the OTR brand to new occasions, formats, cocktail recipes, and the low-ABV space.”
Sales for On The Rocks Premium Cocktails doubled in the first six months of 2020, the company says. Among the brand’s products are the Knob Creek Old Fashioned, Hornitos Margarita, EFFEN Cosmopolitan and Cruzan Mai Tai.
On the Rocks was co-founded in 2015 by Patrick Halbert, an entrepreneur and restauranteur, and Rocco Milano, a bartender. Halbert and Milano will continue to play leading roles with the brand as it joins the Beam Suntory portfolio.
“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,” says Halbert. “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.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.