Diageo has bought Mr Black, an Australian cold brew coffee liqueur.
Mr Black launched in 2013, by designer Tom Baker and distiller Philip Moore, with the vision of bringing global coffee culture to the world of spirits and craft cocktails.
Mr Black has grown to become a leading premium-priced coffee liqueur in the U.S., according to IWSR data.
Now available in 22 countries, Mr Black sources and roasts coffee for its liqueur.
In 2015, Diageo acquired a minority stake in Mr Black through Distill Ventures, the Diageo-backed accelerator program. Distill Ventures receives funding from Diageo, and works with the company to support entrepreneurs as they launch and grow drinks brands.
“With its award-winning liquid, eye-catching design and packaging and ability to thrive in culture, we believe Mr Black is just getting started in the dynamic coffee liqueur segment,” says Claudia Schubert, President, U.S. Spirits and Canada, Diageo. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to acquire high growth brands in exciting categories, and we are delighted to welcome Mr Black into our portfolio.”
Co-founder Baker will remain actively involved with the brand, working with the Diageo team to build on Mr Black’s success.
“Coffee is more than just a drink — it’s a culture, ritual, obsession, aesthetic, experience, tradition and a community,” says Baker. “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.”
This acquisition was funded through existing cash resources.