Building our portfolio for the long term: strategic acquisitions

5 Aug 2021
Chase Distillery Pink Grapefruit & Pomelo flav

Many of our iconic brands have been built over decades, or even centuries. While never losing sight of the importance of investing in the growth of these great brands, we need to identify and nurture the new brands that consumers will enjoy in the future. We do this through innovation, by investing in entrepreneurs with new ideas through the Diageo-backed accelerator programme, Distill Ventures, and through acquisitions.

We look to make acquisitions of high-growth brands in fast-growing categories – such as those we have made in recent years in tequila, gin, no- and lower-alcohol, and ready to drink. Super premium tequila brand Casamigos, which we acquired in 2017, grew net sales 125% this year and recently joined the ‘Millionaires’ Club’,1 having sold over one million cases in 2020.2

This year, we acquired Aviation American Gin and Chase Distillery: two fast-growing, premium plus gin brands with exciting growth potential. Aviation American Gin has disrupted the gin category in North America with its subtle juniper notes and modern craft credentials. It is now the second largest and one of the fastest growing brands in the super premium gin segment in the United States.3

The acquisition of Chase Distillery, the producer of Chase GB Gin and a crafted portfolio of flavoured gin innovations, broadened our offering in the United Kingdom – the largest gin market in Europe.4 The flavoured gin category in the United Kingdom grew at a compound annual growth rate of over 140% between 2015 and 2020,5 and Chase Distillery’s flavoured gin portfolio – with its fresh and zesty flavour combinations – is well positioned to benefit from this growth.

1 Drinks International, June 2021
2, 3, 4, 5 IWSR, 2020