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Super-premium Tequila sales up 706% in US since 2002

Tequila is “no longer only associated with celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo”, with US sales growing at an average annual rate of 5.8%, according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

US Tequila sales are growing at an annual rate of 5.8% on average

The category has seen “substantial growth”, the Council says, powered by super-premium and “high-end” offerings – the latter witnessing an increase of 292% since 2002.

In addition to a wider luxury Tequila offering, cocktail culture has played “an important role” in elevating the category, it adds.

“A common trend we’re seeing across the entire spirits sector is strong interest in super-premium products,” said Distilled Spirits Council director of public relations Kelley McDonough.

“Tequila fits nicely in this consumer trend with the many sophisticated sipping Tequilas in the marketplace today. Tequila is no longer only associated with celebrations such as Cinco de Mayo or enjoyed in pre-batched frozen margaritas at a beach bar.”

While Tequila’s reach is wider than ever, the spirit still remains an integral part of Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

In the four weeks ended May 12, 2016, on-premise Tequila sales in the US increased by 7% according to Nielsen – “significant” growth compared to the wider spirits category, which only reported a 0.1% increase in the same period.

“Strong growth” was also reported for off-premise retailers. Compared to an average two week period in 2016, mezcal sales grew 19% during the week before and week of Cinco de Mayo, and accounted for 5% of total 2016 sales.

Danelle Kosmal, vice president of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol practice, said: “Today’s American consumers are evolving, placing engagement and cultural affinity center stage in marketing to them.

“As a result, being able to gauge the cultural sharing, influence and commonalities that cross racial and ethnic lines has become critical to any successful bev/al marketing strategy.

“With this in mind, when it comes to Cinco de Mayo, grocery, off-premise and on-premise retailers need to develop and execute strategies that appeal to both the needs of multicultural consumers and those most highly influenced by them in the general market to drive better ROI on marketing investments.”

In January, Mexico’s Consejo Regulador del Tequila won the right to register ‘Tequila’ as a certification mark in the US. Days later, US president Donald Trump announced plans to impose a 20% tax on imports from Mexico.

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