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Riga Black Balsam secures German trademark

Amber Beverage Group has acquired the trademark for its Riga Black Balsam herbal liqueur brand in Germany, the third-largest market globally for bitters.

Riga Black Balsam
Riga Black Balsam was founded in 1752

Amber Beverage Group (ABG) said the move marks the completion of the company’s ownership of the brand across all territories. The German trademark had historically been owned by Simex.

“There were long discussions between ABG and Simex in order to get consensus, and we are delighted to have finally signed the acquisition deal and all the more pleased to have done so in this important anniversary year,” said ABG’s chief legal officer Arturs Evarts.

According to ABG, Germany is one of the world’s leading per capita markets for the bitters category, which is expected to grow by 3% between 2020 and 2025.

Latvian-made Riga Black Balsam celebrates its 270th birthday this year and is thought to be one of the oldest bitters brands in the world.

First documented in 1752, the herbal liqueur is made with ‘natural’ ingredients and comes packaged in a clay bottle.

The brand’s range includes blackcurrant, cherry, espresso, and chocolate and mint flavours, as well as brandy-based Riga Black Balsam XO.

Māris Kalniņš, global brand director, said: “The fortunes of the legendary herbal bitter, Riga Black Balsam, revived in 2021 with a year-on-year volume increase following the beginning of a recovery in global travel retail and sales across the Baltics, as well as continued expansion in some key markets.”

The Luxembourg-based company said its portfolio would become more widely available through its distributor Diversa Spezialitäten, while other ABG subsidiaries will roll out the bitters brand more extensively.

ABG saw organic sales increase by 11% last year, boosted by its strong presence in the Baltics.

In April 2020, ABG appointed Espiritus Group as its sales and marketing partner for the herbal liqueur brand in the US.

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