Founded by mates James Bruce and Stafford Fox in 2013, the adult soft drink, premium mixer and mineral water business “set out to revolutionise the Australian soft drink market with eclectic, sophisticated flavours and local ingredients”.
StrangeLove claims that it has more than doubled in volume and revenue in the last two years. The brand is now stocked by many of Australia’s “best” restaurants, high-end grocers and, more recently, premium Woolworths stores.
Asahi Beverages Group CEO Robert Iervasi says it’s clear Australians want more sophisticated and lower-sugar soft drinks, fuelling demand for StrangeLove’s products in recent years.
“We are really excited about the impact that StrangeLove is going to have in restaurants, cafes, hotels and pubs,” he says.
“We expect StrangeLove to really shake things-up in the on-premise premium mixer and adult soft drink space, with a high-quality, Australian-made brand.
“This deal will also strengthen our offer to retailers, which are dedicating more shelf-space to premium non-alcohol beverages. StrangeLove complements our leading portfolio of beverages, and we are absolutely thrilled to add StrangeLove to the Asahi Beverages family.”
Mr Bruce says the deal represents an amazing opportunity to speed up StrangeLove’s mission to revolutionise the adult soft drink market with more imaginative and high-quality beverages.
“With their FMCG-expertise and long-standing customer relationships in retail, hospitality and beyond, Asahi Beverages will help grow StrangeLove in a way we couldn’t on our own,” he says. “They share our absolute commitment to quality and we’ve been impressed by how they’ve supported their other craft partners to retain their unique identity and foster innovation.
“The StrangeLove management team and I will remain in our roles at the business, and we’re excited and committed to its long-term growth. This means the acquisition won’t affect day-to-day operations and nothing will change for our customers and consumers.
“We’ll continue to challenge the status quo with imaginative, innovative and adult flavours, using real ingredients sourced, where possible, from local farmers and producers.”