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September 29, 2022

Diageo buys cold-brew coffee liqueur Mr Black

Diageo takes control of Mr Black, a business the drinks giant backed seven years ago through accelerator programme Distill Ventures.

By Conor Reynolds

Diageo has acquired cold-brew coffee liqueur producer Mr Black, an Australia-based business, for an undisclosed amount.

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Mr Black operates a coffee roastery in Sydney, where it produces a coffee liqueur using a cold brew process. The company was founded in 2013 by designer Tom Baker and distiller Philip Moore. Diageo already had shares in the business.

Since its establishment, Mr Black has grown its foothold in the coffee liqueur category and is now available in 22 countries. While prominent in Australia and the UK, its largest market is the US.

Tom Baker, co-founder of Mr Black said: “Coffee is more than just a drink – it’s a culture, ritual, obsession, aesthetic, experience, tradition and a community. We created Mr Black to embody that culture and inspire people to take their love of coffee into their evening drinks. Diageo understood our vision early on, and now, after several years with them as a supporter, we are thrilled to be joining the Diageo family.”

Diageo acquired a minority stake in the group in 2015. The share purchase in Mr Black was done through the Diageo-backed accelerator programme, Distill Ventures. While Diageo has not disclosed the value of the acquisition, it states the deal has been funded through existing cash resources.

“We believe Mr Black is just getting started in the dynamic coffee liqueur segment. This acquisition is in line with our strategy to acquire high-growth brands in exciting categories,” said Diageo’s president of US spirits, Claudia Schubert.

This week, Diageo announced its intent to not renew its membership of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, stating its departure was part of a review of its memberships in industry organisations.

The London-based drinks behemoth also terminated the sale agreement of Windsor whiskey, a deal it had arranged with the Bayside/Metis consortium last March.

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Sustainable and recyclable packaging is more in demand than ever, yet the packaging industry is at a crossroads.

While the traditional practices and old ways of doing business are well-established and understood, avoiding the circular economy is not a viable plan for the long term.

However, this circular shift doesn’t have to be a radical overhaul overnight. A combination of small changes can make a big difference. And these changes can result in cost savings.

Siegwerk is an internationally recognised provider of sustainable coatings and inks for the packaging industry. The company has embraced the circular economy and is setting many standards in sustainability in packaging products while working with major brands.

To learn more about the work of Siegwerk in the circular economy, download this document.

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