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Diageo focuses on new 'spirit' DRINKS.

The world's largest spirits firm, Diageo, has moved further into nonalcoholic drinks after securing a majority stake in "game-changing" alcohol-free "spirit" Seedlip. The company already held a small stake in the drinks start-up, but has significantly increased its investment as it continues to bank on the growing popularity of non-alcoholic drinks. Seedlip, which claims to be the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirit brand, was launched by Ben Branson in 2015 to improve options for teetotallers. The Diageo-backed accelerator programme Distell Ventures announced a minority investment in Seedlip in June 2016, but the Gordon's gin owner has now increased its control. Seedlip produces three varieties of distilled drinks, made with botanicals, as alternatives to traditional spirits. The brand has seen sales surge as alcoholfree alternatives gain popularity and is available in major supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as cocktail bars and restaurants. Mr Branson said: "We want to change the way the world drinks and today's news is another big step forward to achieving this. "Distill Ventures' and Diageo's shared belief in our vision has enabled us to build a business that's ready for scale and I'm excited to continue working with Diageo to lead this movement." Last month, Diageo revealed that annual profits jumped 9% to PS4 billion, but admitted having had its eyes opened to growth opportunities as some traditional drinks, such as rum, saw sales stagnate.

We want to change the way the world drinks"

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Date:Aug 8, 2019
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