Former Sainsbury’s boss backs Ellie Goulding’s Hertfordshire made drinks brand

Lucy Neave

Former Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has made a “significant” investment in Ellie Goulding’s hard seltzer drinks brand and joined the board as a senior adviser.

Served, which was founded by brothers Dean and Ryan Ginsberg last year, has seen its revenue surge in recent months and was valued at £13.6m after a funding round earlier this year.

Goulding took a significant stake in the business in June last year and is now a co-owner.

The size of the stake taken by King, who led Sainsbury’s between 2004 and 2014 and is also a non-executive director at Marks & Spencer, was not disclosed.

Ellie Goulding Performs On ABC's "Good Morning America"
Ellie Goulding is a co-owner of the Served hard seltzer brand (Getty Images)

“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,” he said.

Served’s drinks are made in Hertfordshire, where the Starry Eyed singer grew up, and is now stocked in more than 1,000 retailers nationwide including WHSmith, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Planet Organic.

The hard seltzer category is one of the fastest-growing drink categories in the UK, expected to reach £600m in sales by 2025, according to data from Nielsen.