THE Alcoholic Water Company Ltd, founded by a team of experienced drinks entrepreneurs, has secured a six-figure deal from Scotmid Co-op and Scottish Enterprise.

With the ambition of developing the "world’s most sought after portfolio of hard seltzers", or alcoholic flavoured waters, a team of drinks industry entrepreneurs founded The Alcoholic Water Company in late 2019.  The new company is a collaboration between Glasgow based innovation facility The Start-Up Drinks Lab and drinks-marketing agency London-based Whitelabel Group.

The start-up “brings together the skills required to launch new brands within three months”, it said.

Internal functions include sales, marketing, export, accountancy, liquid development and manufacturing, giving the team a unique combined strength against the competition.

The four individuals who founded the company have all previously established, award winning drink businesses in their own right. This includes the founders of Glasgow based craft drink manufacturing facility The Start-Up Drinks Lab - Craig Strachan and Hannah Fisher - who have partnered with 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.

The foursome have just secured the six-figure investment raise from both Scotmid Co-op and Scottish Enterprise, who saw not only the future growth in this emerging category, but the value in expertise that each of the founders bring, following their collective 75 years’ experience in the premium drinks industry.

Nick Baxter has also joined the team in July as UK Head of Sales and brings over 15 years’ experience across multiple channels in the industry for Coca Cola, Britvic and most recently Jägermeister.

Purchasing a minority stake are Edinburgh based retail chain Scotmid Co-op. It brings off-trade expertise from their UK grocery network, but will also provide mentoring and business support to the founders.

John Brodie, chief executive at Scotmid Co-op, 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.”

Also investing in this initial round are Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s national economic development agency. 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.”

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