Scotland-headquartered A.G. Barr has been marketing, selling and distributing Rio on an exclusive licence basis via its Boost Drinks division since 2021 (Boost Drinks was acquired by A.G. Barr last year).
It has now acquired the Rio brand from Hall and Woodhouse Limited, an independent brewer and pub company, for £12.3m ($15m).
Rio is a ‘delicious blend of 11% real fruit and juice (orange, guava, apricot, mango and passionfruit) in lightly sparkling water’. The drink is gluten-free, dairy-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The brand was recently reformulated from 10g sugar per 100ml to under 4.5g per 100ml, bringing it in under the threshold of the UK’s sugar tax (Soft Drinks Industry Levy). It also offers a no added sugar version with 17 calories per 330ml can.
Rio joins A.G. Barr’s portfolio of well-known UK brands such as IRN-BRU, Rubicon, FUNKIN and Boost. In December the company also gained full ownership of MOMA Foods, a barista-focused oat drink brand.
“With a brand building business model, and following the Boost acquisition, we have moved quickly to secure the long-term position of the Rio brand within our wider portfolio,” says A.G. Barr.
“While an important contributor to the previously announced ongoing margin rebuild program, the transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the Group’s profits for the current financial year ending 28 January 2024.”