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Tequila Brand Champion 2019: Hornitos

The US is an important market for Hornitos Tequila

With a host of high­-profile names following actor George Clooney into the Tequila market, there’s no doubt the agave­-based spirit remains a hot commodity. “The Tequila category continues to grow rapidly, especially in the premium and super-­premium segments, with consumers seeking out 100%-­agave Tequilas,” says Tiana Conley, marketing director global Tequila at Beam Suntory.

After performing consistently well year on year and posting the second highest growth in the category at 18.5%, Beam Suntory­-owned Hornitos has been awarded the title of Tequila Brand Champion 2019.

“Hornitos Tequila is perfectly positioned to succeed in this time of burgeoning demand as a high­-quality, 100%-­agave Tequila,” explains Conley. “Hornitos has a history of pushing boundaries to advance what’s possible for the Tequila category.”

With sales more than doubling since 2013, demand from consumers and the brand’s A Shot Worth Taking campaign has, according to Conley, been instrumental in driving Hornitos’ profile.

To maintain its positive momentum into the future, Conley says the brand is focusing on its native Mexico, which she describes as “an important market for Hornitos” because of the “exciting growth opportunities that lie ahead”. The US also remains an important market for the brand, and Conley says its growth in the region “continues to outpace the total premium spirits category”.

Across the brand’s offering, Conley says further sales increases could come from consumers’ interest in aged variants, such as its Black Barrel and Cristalino varieties.

But it wasn’t just the Beam Suntory-­owned brand that posted impressive growth through 2018. Diageo-­owned Don Julio delivered the year’s highest growth rate of 21.6% to reach 1.5m nine-­litre cases. There were also further year­-on­-year increases for El Jimador (8.8%) and Bacardi­-owned Patrón (2.1%), reaching sales of 1.3m and 2.1m nine-­litre cases respectively.

Despite a dip of 0.3%, Becle-owned Jose Cuervo retained its position as the top­-selling Tequila brand with volumes of 6.7m nine-­litre cases. While retaining its position as the second best­-selling Tequila brand, Beam Suntory­-owned Sauza saw its sales drop by 4.8% to 2.7m nine-litre cases – the brand’s lowest result for at least five years.

As the category continues to go from strength to strength, eyes will remain on Hornitos and Don Julio to see if the two brands can maintain their positive momentum. Plus, with rising marques such as Pernod Ricard’s Olmeca gaining traction, could there be any newcomers to the million­-case-­selling club in the near future?

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Tequila (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 %+/-
Jose Cuervo Becle N/A N/A N/A 6.7 6.7 -0.3%
Sauza Beam Suntory 2.9 2.9 2.8 2.8 2.7 -4.8%
Patrón Bacardi 1.7 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.1 1.9%
Don Julio Diageo 0.4 0.9 1.0 1.3 1.5 21.6%
El Jimador Brown-Forman 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 8.8%
Hornitos Beam Suntory 0.7 0.8 1.0 1.1 1.3 18.5%

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