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Spencer Matthews’ Clean Co makes US debut

Low- and no-alcohol company Clean Co, created by former Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, has teamed up with brand-building firm Demeter & Co to launch in the US.

Clean Co
L-r: Jim Clerkin, co-founder of Demeter & Co, and Spencer Matthews, creator of Clean Co

Unveiled last month, Demeter & Co was founded by Jim Clerkin, the former CEO of Moët Hennessy North America, and Jeff Menashe, the founder and CEO of alcohol industry investment bank Demeter Advisory Group.

The new company aims to scale ‘digital-first’ beverage businesses globally and at speed, and has selected UK-based Clean Co as the first brand in its portfolio.

Matthews founded Clean Co in 2019 to tap into the market for non-alcoholic alternatives to spirits. Its products include Clean T, a no-ABV Tequila replacement; Clean G, a gin alternative; Clean R, which stands in for golden spiced rum; and Clean V Spiced Apple, inspired by flavoured vodka.

The brand has raised more than £9 million in funding since its launch, including a £7m investment from backers including Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Through its partnership with Demeter, the producer expects to sell more than 50,000 nine-litre cases across the UK and the US this year.

“The no/low alcohol industry is embarking on a major revolution driven by a large and growing consumer audience,” Matthews said.

“There’s this incredible surge of global cocktail lovers seeking to moderate their drinking habits to be healthy, happy and connected. In the U.S, our research found that one in five premium spirits drinkers sought a way to moderate while still enjoying the cocktails they love.

“We are now one of the world’s largest and fastest growing no/low spirits brands, and with everything we’ve learnt, it is the right time for us to introduce Clean Co to the US, the world’s largest alcohol market, before expanding globally.”

Next month, Clean Co will roll out in seven states, including California, Texas and Florida, with distribution led by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Clerkin explained how the low-and-no brand plans to tailor its offering to the US market.

“Spencer and his team have a proven concept in the UK and deep learnings that help inform how we will approach the US consumer,” Clerkin commented. “As the only brand with an existing portfolio of traditional spirit alternatives, Clean Co is able to customise the launch of each market with the spirit most aligned with its cocktail culture.

“So, in the UK, Clean Co leads with Clean G [a gin alternative], whereas in the US, we will lead with Clean T, our take on an agave-forward Tequila Blanco. In this way, we are complementing the significant growth of Tequila in the US, while showcasing Clean Co in one of the country’s fastest-growing cocktails – the Paloma.”

When asked for more details on the nature of its partnership with Clean Co, Demeter said it “does not disclose financial information”.

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