Pernod buys minority stake in EcoSpirits
Absolut owner Pernod Ricard has acquired a minority stake in spirits distribution system EcoSpirits through its venture capital fund.
EcoSpirits provides low-carbon, low-waste distribution systems for the wine and spirits sector by avoiding the use of glass bottles and secondary packaging.
The company produces the Ecotote, which appears as a box, is machine washable with a screw top, and features a QR code for tracking.
The deal, made through Pernod Ricard’s Convivialité Ventures fund, will help boost EcoSpirits’ ‘leadership position’.
Pernod Ricard joined a US$10 million Series A funding of EcoSpirits, alongside New York-based circular economy investment fund Closed Loop Partners, food sector investor Proterra Asia, Singapore-based Pavilion Capital, and EcoSpirits’ existing backer, Wavemaker Partners.
Sui Ling Cheah, EcoSpirits executive board chairman, said: “We are thrilled with the successful close of our Series A round, which not only validates EcoSpirits’ impressive progress in building a comprehensive technology platform, but also marks a significant milestone in our journey to global scale.”
French firm Pernod Ricard initially partnered with EcoSpirits in March 2022 to utilise closed loop packaging technology for some of its brands in Hong Kong and Singapore. Pernod Ricard said it was the first global drinks company to team up with the sustainable packaging manufacturer.
The collaboration saw Absolut Vodka, Beefeater gin and Havana Club rum available in the Ecotote.
The investment comes as Pernod Ricard is in the process of expanding the partnership to markets outside of Asia.
The funds will help the company scale up its hardware, software and internet-of-things (IoT) research and development programme, expand operations in key markets worldwide, including the US, and grow its regional customer and engineering teams in Miami, London, Singapore and Shanghai.
Stéphane Longuet, co-founder and managing director of Convivialité Ventures, said: “We are very pleased to participate in this investment which will help develop a company offering such an innovative solution to our industry, by drastically reducing waste and carbon emissions.
“EcoSpirits’ approach is perfectly in line with our group’s objectives to reduce its carbon emissions and we are looking forward to using it on a large scale around the world.”
Earlier this year, EcoSpirits debuted in the Dominican Republic with spiced rum brand Candela Mamajuana.
We recently spoke to Paul ‘Broady’ Broadbent, CEO of bar consultancy Proof & Company, the firm behind EcoSpirits.