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E&J Gallo to buy Rumchata liqueur owner

California-based E&J Gallo Winery has agreed to acquire Agave Loco, the owner of cream liqueur brand Rumchata, for an undisclosed sum.

The Rumchata brand is inspired by Mexican rice-based drink horchata

The deal, which is expected to close on 16 April, also includes Midwest Custom Bottling (MCB), which produces Rumchata at its facility in Wisconsin, US. MCB’s Tippy Cow rum cream and Holly Nog wine-based eggnog brand are also included in the agreement.

Founded by Tom Maas in 2009, Rumchata (13.75% ABV) is inspired by Mexican horchata, a traditional rice-based drink. Mass sought to create a rum-based horchata using fresh dairy cream, Caribbean rum and a sweet spice blend.

Mass said: “As a small independent producer, we never imagined the success of Rumchata when we were just getting started back in 2009.

“We have taken the growth of the brand as far as possible as a small supplier, and it was the right time to find a new brand steward.

“I know the Rumchata brand will thrive under Gallo’s guidance, and I am excited to watch the brand continue to grow and evolve in the future.”

In 2016, the brand introduced Minichatas, 25ml single-serve cups that allow drinkers to add Rumchata to their coffee.

It was followed a year later by Rumchata Cold Brew, while Rumchata Limón was recently added to the range permanently.

The brand has also released a number of seasonal bottlings, including Rumchata Peppermint Bark.

“We see tremendous potential with this acquisition to further innovate in the premium spirits space with unique consumer propositions, while continuing to add value to our wholesaler and customer partners,” said Britt West, vice-president and general manager of Gallo’s spirits business.

“Opportunities like this are rare in the spirits industry and we are excited to add Rumchata to our expanding portfolio of noteworthy brands.

“We look forward to continuing to build brand awareness for Rumchata, while expanding its availability both in the US and internationally.”

Constellation Brands agreed to sell approximately 30 drinks brands, mostly comprised of wine, to family-owned E&J Gallo in April 2019.

E&J Gallo’s spirits portfolio includes New Amsterdam Vodka and Gin, E&J Brandy, Germain-Robin brandy, High Noon Sun Sips Hard Seltzer, and Camarena Tequila.

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