Justin King backs Ellie Goulding’s SERVED Hard Seltzer brand

King: SERVED backer

Justin King, CEO of Sainsbury’s between 2004 and 2014, has joined SERVED Hard Seltzer as a senior board advisor and made a significant investment in the business. 

The hard seltzer category is one of the fastest-growing drink categories in the UK, expected to reach £600m in sales by 2025, following unprecedented success in the US, where sales exceeded $4bn in  2020.  

Co-owned by Ellie Goulding, SERVED has quickly become the leading premium British hard seltzer brand and is already available nationwide with over 1,000 stockists including high-profile listings such as WHSmith, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Planet Organic.  

The business, which was founded by brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg in 2020, has seen its revenues surge by more than 1,000% in the last three months through its direct-to-consumer channel, as many consumers have shifted to purchasing online.  

Dean Ginsberg commented “we are delighted to welcome Justin to our advisory team. As we enter our next phase of exciting growth, it’s important that we bring on the very best people to support  the brand in each of our core channels – and you just won’t find anyone more talented and  experienced than Justin when it comes to retail”. 

King, who is also a non-executive director at Marks & Spencer and a member of the PIB at PWC, comments “Dean and Ryan have created a truly premium product which stands out in the crowded  field of the hard seltzer category which is set to explode in the coming year”. 

SERVED is crafted in Herefordshire, where Ellie grew up, by infusing sparkling spring water with  wonky fruit and pairing this with their own ServedPureTM spirit. The result is a refreshing 4% ABV  plant-based, gluten-free hard seltzer with a crisp, fresh flavour, and a touch of natural sweetness.  Designed for the modern health-conscious consumer, SERVED only contains 57 calories and zero  sugar.  

Ellie, a global goodwill ambassador for the UN Environment Programme since 2017 adds, “We are  going to take on some of the biggest brands on the planet, but do it our way. We refuse to compromise on quality nor the health of the natural world. We use ‘wonky fruit’ as an intervention on food waste, the most innovative ecological packaging materials we can think of and we will  support habitats, people and animals on the frontline of the nature crisis. We will continue to be  100% transparent. Oh, and we’ll do all this while having fun and building an awesome brand with  awesome people.”