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World Cup could make cachaça as big as Tequila

The 2014 World Cup has given cachaça the potential to experience the same success as Tequila during the 1970 tournament, says the founder of Leblon cachaça.

The founder of Leblon cachaca believe the 2014 World Cup could make the category as big as Tequila

For Steve Luttmann, founder and CEO of Leblon cachaça, told The Spirits Business that the FIFA World Cup 2014, hosted in Sau Paulo, Brazil, could allow the country’s national spirit, cachaça, to soar in global popularity and that this success would not necessarily be short lived.

“I think a lot of people will come away from the World Cup and will enter the cachaça category, making it part of their permanent spirits repertoires,” he said.

“The success experienced by Tequila and the Margarita in the 1968 World Cup in Mexico could be experienced by cachaça and the Caipirinha in the 2014 World Cup. Similar to how Australian wine grew in the Sydney Olympics.

“These categories experienced massive growth and never looked back. I think the same will happen to cachaça.”

Luttmann said that his brand has doubled its total sales in the past two months and has seen a “significant” uplift in Brazil. In particular, he notes that sales in the US have gone up 75% and 84% in Europe.

Leblon has secured new distribution deals in the run-up to the football tournament, and has also increased marketing spend by 50% following two months of planning.

“We are selling Brazil in a glass, so the 2014 World Cup has the opportunity to make us really relevant, as will the Olympics held in Brazil in 2016,” continued Luttmann.

“These are two really big events for us and present fantastic sales opportunities across the world.”

Numerous cachaça producers have been seeking to increase their exposure during the 2014 World Cup. The category has been in long-term decline as its youthful domestic market turns away from traditional spirits and towards international spirits such as vodka and whisky.

However, Ypioca’s export manager Daan Dekroon recently said that he is cautious that his brand not become too associated with the World Cup as this may cause people to think of it as the “football spirit”, thus limiting its international long-term prospects.

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