Constellation's Focus on Female Founders initiative leads to acquisition of wine brand Archer Roose
By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media
NOTE: This article is reprinted from GAI News (A sister publication of WIA Today)
Constellation has been realigning for a few years now. In 2018, the group made a surprising announcement that it was investing a further $4 billion in publicly traded Canadian marijuana grower Canopy Growth.
In 2019, the group sold approximately 30 wine brands and related facilities located in California, New York, and Washington to E&J Gallo for $1.7 billion in a move that it said was driven by a strategic plan to “better align its portfolio with consumer premiumization trends”.
“One of the hallmarks of our success over the years has been our ability to evolve and stay on the forefront of emerging consumer trends,” said Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer at Constellation Brands at the time.
Today, Constellation remains aware of industry and consumer sentiment, and continues to make investments and foster strategies such as its Focus on Female Founders initiative, created in 2018. This initiative is intended to directly increasing female representation and access to funding in the industry by investing $100 million by 2028 in female-led or female-founded companies that are doing meaningful and disruptive work across the beverage alcohol industry.
As part of this commitment, Constellation announced its acquisition of a minority stake in wine brand Archer Roose - an accessible luxury wine brand focused on consciously-crafted wine catering to a new generation of legal drinking age (LDA) wine drinkers.
It’s a savvy bet. Female-founded startups that secure funding are more likely to succeed and deliver higher value compared to male-founded companies, according to Why Women-Owned Startups are a Better Bet, published by BCG. Despite this, data from Pitchbook reveals that female-founded companies accounted for only 2 percent of venture capital investments in 2021, which was the second consecutive year that saw a decrease in the number of female-founded companies that received funding. However, thanks to Constellation’s Focus on Female Founders initiative, the group’s venture portfolio fix has shifted from approximately 20 percent female-founded to nearly 50 percent.
Founded in 2015 by Marian Leitner-Waldman and her husband David, Archer Roose has a mission to democratize wine by offering consumer luxury wine in an approachable way.
By partnering with small, adventurous winemakers who work to preserve terroir, honor craftsmanship, and carry a deep respect for the environment, Archer Roose is able to offer wines from the most famous winemaking regions of the world - from Provence to Casablanca Valley - through what they call the “Traveling Vineyard”.
“We founded Archer Roose for a simple reason, we wanted to have a better glass of wine,” said Marian Leitner-Waldman, co-founder, Archer Roose. “Our consumers can discover wine regions and varietals while knowing what to expect from our products: dry, fruit-forward wines that are sustainably made and exceptionally delicious.”
The brand’s luxury canned wines allow consumers access to high-quality wines in formats that fit modern lifestyles with a single serving that can be enjoyed without opening an entire bottle. Currently, the company’s varietals include Bubbly, Bubbly Rosé, Rosé, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Malbec.
The company explained, “Timeless adventurer Archer Roose is a character that was created to take the contemporary wine drinker on a journey of wine, connecting consumers to a global portfolio through the lens of her travels. Each Archer Roose wine is like a postcard, transparently sharing the people, place, practices, and profile of all of their wines.”
This light-hearted approach, and the draw of connecting with wine consumers through humor, has attracted actress and producer Elizabeth Banks, who has joined the brand as both an investor and in the role of chief creative officer.
“I joined Archer Roose because I wanted to bring fun to wine,” said Banks. “Wine can take itself so seriously, but at Archer Roose we make seriously good wine accessible through storytelling that resonates with our consumers’ lives.”
“Marian, Elizabeth, and the team have created something truly unique in Archer Roose, making luxury wine distinctively fun and accessible for contemporary consumers who are curious about exploring the category,” said Mallika Monteiro, executive vice president and chief growth, strategy, and digital officer, Constellation Brands.
“Their focus on planet-friendly, single serving formats resonates not just with the environmentally conscious values of this new generation of LDA drinkers, but also with consumer moderation trends that we are beginning to see take hold,” continued Monteiro. “We believe Archer Roose is well-positioned to grow the category by introducing premium wine to this segment through their welcoming, thoughtful, and honest brand.”
~ Lynda Kiernan-Stone is editor with GAI Media, and is managing editor and daily contributor for Global AgInvesting’s AgInvesting Weekly News and Agtech Intel News, as well as HighQuest Group’s Unconventional Ag. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The content put forth by Global AgInvesting News and its parent company HighQuest Partners is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. All information or other material herein is not to be construed as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. Global AgInvesting and HighQuest Partners are not a fiduciary in any manner, and the reader assumes the sole responsibility of evaluating the merits and risks associated with the use of any information or other content on this site.