Heineken has acquired a minority stake in Served, the UK ready-to-drink brand co-founded by pop star Ellie Goulding.

Announcing a deal for a “significant minority stake” in Served, Heineken indicated it will support the brand’s development in a bid to push grow the brand into a “leadership position” in the UK ready-to-drink market.

Served sells a namesake range of hard seltzers aimed at consumers seeking “a modern, health-conscious, social lifestyle”. Its portfolio consists of three flavour variants; peach, raspberry and lime. Each is made with vodka, fruit juice and sparkling water and has an abv of 4%.

Served was launched in the summer of 2020 by Goulding and brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg.

Last year, Served appointed former Asahi Europe CEO Hector Gorosabel and ex-Lion Little World Beverages MD Matt Tapper as board advisors.

They joined former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King, who was appointed to the company’s board in the summer of 2021. All three have also invested in Served.

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“This is a significant milestone for the business,” Dean Ginsberg said today (18 September). “To date, our focus has been on building a brand that truly resonates with the next generation of drinkers. We are extremely proud of what the team has achieved in a short period of time but our vision has always been to lead the category, and this partnership with Heineken will enable us to accelerate our growth and maximise the potential of the brand.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Boudewijn Haarsma, the MD of Heineken’s UK business, said the beer giant had been “interested in expanding our premium portfolio beyond beer and cider, seeking the right opportunity to invest in new growth categories”.

In December, the Amstel owner invested in Toast Ale, a UK brewer that uses surplus bread to make its beer.