And Rising invests in Ellie Goulding-backed hard seltzer Served

UK market for 'hard seltzers' expected to double this summer.

Ellie Goulding: has taken an ownership stake in Served
Ellie Goulding: has taken an ownership stake in Served

And Rising has invested in Served, a premium hard seltzer brand that singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding recently bought an ownership stake in, with the agency planning to elevate the brand's marketing in the summer months.

The news marks the fourth "scale up" investment made by And Rising, which will work closely with Served founders Ryan and Dean Ginsberg on its advertising strategy.

The fruit-and-alcohol-infused sparkling water-based drink will be marketed as a healthier alternative to sugar-rich alcoholic drinks, with its ingredients  in particular, its use of "wonky", retailer-discarded fruit  flagged as one of its environmental virtues.

The branding and design for Served has already been conceived by design agency Pearlfisher, and the business has secured distributor listings and a direct-to-consumer ecommerce channel.

Goulding said that she decided to invest in Served because it was not only "the best hard seltzer I've tasted by quite some margin, but also because this is a brand driven by care and respect for the natural world at this crucial point".

Served competes against rival hard seltzer brands such as White Claw, a US-based brand that launched in the UK last year and appointed The Kite Factory to develop its media planning and buying.

While the hard seltzer category in the UK market is yet to attain the level of success it enjoys in the US, the market is growing rapidly, with major players including Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Kopparberg launching brands.

Goulding added: "I've always enjoyed a social drink with friends, but I also lead a busy lifestyle and I am passionate about my health, fitness, and the environment. Served is a brand that allows me to have it all – a delicious and refreshing alcoholic drink without all the calories, sugar and bad stuff."

According to reports, the UK market for hard seltzers is expected to double this summer, after reaching about £12m in 2020.

In the US, according to data from Statista, sales have risen from $496m in 2018 to more than $4bn in 2020, double that of 2019.

And Rising, which changed its name from 18 Feet & Rising in 2018 when it revealed a new strategic purpose to focus on "scale ups", made its debut start-up investment in immunity-drink brand Tonic Health last April.

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