Amsterdam-based start-up STËLZ hard seltzer announced that it has attracted two new shareholders: Monica Geuze, one of The Netherlands’ biggest influencers, and event organizer ID&T, known for events such as Mysteryland, Amsterdam Open Air, Awakenings, Defqon.1, and Decibel outdoor. The ID&T group has over 1.5 million visitors annually, making it one of the world’s largest organizers of electronic music events.
Last year, STËLZ introduced the new drink category “hard seltzer” in Europe. The hard seltzer industry has already grown into a billion-dollar market in the United States and is rapidly gaining ground worldwide. In 2020, STËLZ introduced the “hard seltzer” on the Dutch market: sparkling water with a hint of fruit and 4.5% alcohol. STËLZ responds to the trend in which a conscious lifestyle – without sugar and with fewer calories – is becoming increasingly important. Millennials and the 18+ generation Z, both men and women, have embraced the new category in a short time. STËLZ is procurable in four flavors at numerous providers such as Albert Heijn, Gall&Gall, Mitra, Picnic, Gorillas, STACH, and various other providers within and outside of Europe.
The ID&T Group chose this young beverage brand because its appearance is a good match with its events. In addition, the entrepreneurship, energy, and ambition of the founders of STËLZ played an important role in the decision to collaborate. STËLZ will be served for at least five years at the 70+ events ID&T group organizes.
Milan Voet (26), founder of STËLZ: “This is really a boy’s dream come true. My friends and I often go to ID&T parties and I will soon be able to drink my own brand there. How cool is it to be at Mysteryland with 100,000 others this summer and to see STËLZ all around! Just like the founders of ID&T, I come from Landsmeer, an entrepreneurial village just above Amsterdam. This partnership offers the opportunity to introduce over 1.5 million festivalgoers to STËLZ every year. In addition, ID&T’s enormous international digital reach creates great opportunities to further increase STËLZ’s brand awareness. Sales were already going well – we just had to produce an extra million cans to meet demand. Together with ID&T and Monica Geuze we are now going sky-high!“
According to Voet, the role of Monica has been very important: “She really managed to launch us with her reach, but she is also of enormous added value in the creative process. She has a good eye for whether something works or not and is not afraid to make choices. That‘s exactly what we need and what we want to radiate.”
Rosanne Janmaat, COO of ID&T: “It feels good to close this great new partnership at a challenging time for our company. The STËLZ team brings fresh and positive energy. We can’t wait to work with them and integrate STËLZ into our events and digital platform. This drink is perfect for our visitors and we are convinced that this will be a success.”
Monica Geuze: “The STËLZ guys and I go way back. A year ago it was still a small club. I got a lot of energy from the team, but I also immediately believed in the potential of hard seltzer. Above all: the design and taste are well put together. This is the drink that I and my friends have been waiting for! STËLZ has grown into a serious player in the market and seeing how much they’ve grown made me become more interested in entrepreneurship. I have always been entrepreneurial and I act on what I believe in. It’s great to take this exciting new step. Joining as a shareholder gives me even more energy to further develop my entrepreneurship.”
ID&T was founded in 1992 and organizes approximately 70 events a year. The ID&T group includes the companies b2s, ID&T Events, Q-dance, Monumental (Awakenings), Air Events, Art of Dance, and VD Events and events such as Mysteryland, Amsterdam Open Air, Milkshake, Vunzige Deuntjes, Thunderdome, Defqon.1 Weekend Festival, Awakenings, Decibel Outdoor, and Masters of Hardcore. Their events attract more than one million visitors a year. The ID&T group also encompasses Platinum Agency and Most Wanted DJ, two of the world’s largest hard dance booking agencies, as well as management agency Headliner Entertainment.
STËLZ was the first to introduce Europe to the new “hard seltzer” drink category in 2020. In the United States, this type of drink has grown from a niche product to a multi-billion dollar market in just a few years. The turbulent growth is mainly at the expense of beer consumption among consumers aged 20 to 40. Although STËLZ was only founded at the beginning of 2020, it has already been through a lot: as a pioneer in Europe, it immediately attracted the attention of the media and the beverage industry. Within a few months, former Heineken CEO Geert Minnart, media personality Daniëlle Oerlemans and catering entrepreneur Michel Pais joined. In addition, it was recorded by Albert Heijn, Gall & Gall, Mitra, Picnic, STACH, and many other providers within and outside Europe. Since the start, the young founders team (Milan Voet, Lodewijk Pessers, Ebbo Gevers Leuven, and Glenn Cornelisse) has already seen more than 1.5 million cans come off the band in the flavors lime, raspberry, grapefruit, and mango. In April 2021, Monica Geuze and ID&T joined as shareholders.