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Top six best-selling Tequila brands

It’s an exciting time for the Tequila category as key investments take effect and celebrity endorsements create a buzz. We present the brands at the top of the volume ladder.

SB presents the world’s biggest Tequila brands

According to Euromonitor figures, Tequila and mezcal combined made an enormous leap in volumes to reach 36.8 million cases in 2018 – a 6.6% spike on 2017.

Tequila was thrust into the spotlight in 2018 with billion-dollar acquisitions, celebrity launches and agave shortages.

In the last 12 months, there have been a variety of innovative launches while celebrities such as Sex and City’s Chris Noth, pop star Rita Ora and actor Charlie Sheen have entered the category.

One of the biggest spirits groups in the world, Pernod Ricard, is also seeking to enter the million-case Tequila contingent with its Altos Tequila brand.

Looking across the brands on our best-selling list, eyes will be Hornitos and Don Julio to see if they can continue to record positive growth in the years to come.

Following our recently published Brand Champions 2019 report – an analysis of the spirits brands selling more than one-million cases annually – we run through the world’s best-selling Tequila brands on the market today.

Click through the following pages to discover the top six best-selling Tequila brands, listed in order of their nine-litre case sales.

Data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2019.

6. Hornitos

2018: 1.3m
2017: 1.1m
% change: 18.5%

Place last year: 6

Beam Suntory­-owned Hornitos was given the title of Tequila Brand Champion 2019 after performing consistently well year on year and posting the second highest growth in the million-case Tequila category at 18.5%.

With sales more than doubling since 2013, demand from consumers and the brand’s A Shot Worth Taking campaign have been instrumental in driving Hornitos’ profile, according to Tiana Conley, marketing director global Tequila at Beam Suntory.

Hornitos, along with premium brands Basil Hayden’s Bourbon and Sipsmith gin, achieved double-digit gains in Beam Suntory’s 2018 full-year results.

The brand is edging closer to overtaking its nearest competitor El Jimador Tequila.

5. El Jimador

2018: 1.3m
2017: 1.2m
% change: 8.8%

Place last year: 5

Maintaining its fifth place is Brown-Forman’s El Jimador Tequila, which grew 8.8% to 1.3m cases last year.

In Brown-Forman’s first nine months of fiscal 2019, El Jimador grew net sales by 15%, propelled by volume growth and higher prices in the US, as well as “strong takeaway trends” in Mexico after repositioning the brand in the premium space.

In June last year, El Jimador partnered with near field communications specialist Thinfilm to create a range of ‘smart bottles’ for football fans.

4. Don Julio

2018: 1.5m
2017: 1.3m
% change: 21.6%

Place last year: 4

Last year’s Tequila Brand Champion, Don Julio, joined the million-case ranks for the first time in 2017 after growing an impressive 44.4%.

In 2018, the brand yet again achieved the highest growth in the category, with an increase of 21.6% to 1.5m cases.

According to Diageo’s financial year ending 30 June 2018, Don Julio grew by “strong” double digits, boosted by the US and Mexico.

Diageo completed its full acquisition of Don Julio in 2015, announcing a US$400m investment in the brand’s production facilities that same year.

The UK drinks giant broke ground on the expansion work at its Atotonilco production site in Jalisco, Mexico, in May 2018. Don Julio now sits alongside George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila, which Diageo acquired in 2017 for US$1bn.

In July last year, Don Julio Tequila launched its first innovation in six years – a reposado Tequila finished in casks previously used to aged Scotch whisky for the Buchanan’s blend.

3. Patrón

2018: 2.1m
2017: 2.1m
% change: 1.9%

Place last year: 3

Patrón dominated headlines last year with its acquisition by spirits giant Bacardi in a deal that valued the brand company at US$5.1bn

Patrón grew by 1.9% in 2018 and consistent annual gains means the brand is the third biggest-selling Tequila in the world.

Bacardi CEO Mahesh Madhavan told The Spirits Business last year that Bacardi is working to increase Patrón’s production capacity by “close to 50%”.

A busy year for the Tequila maker has seen a number of new line extensions unveiled, including the brand’s first single-estate offering, a smoky expression exclusive to the US, and a pineapple-flavoured Tequila-based liqueur.

The brand also partnered with mixer producer Fever-Tree to create a citrus-flavoured tonic water to complement its Tequila.

2. Sauza

2018: 2.7m
2017: 2.8m
% change: -4.8%

Place last year: 2

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.

While stablemate Hornitos helped to boost Beam Suntory’s 2018 financial year, there was no mention of Sauza’s performance.

In May last year, Sauza unveiled three new canned ready-to-drink spiked sparkling waters.

1. Jose Cuervo

2018: 6.7m
2017: 6.7m
% change: -0.3%

Place last year: 1

Miles ahead of any other Tequila brand is Becle-owned Jose Cuervo, which witnessed a slight dip of 0.3% to 6.7m.

Mexican drinks group Becle reported a net sales increase of 8.5% in 2018, led by the growing popularity of super-premium Tequila across all regions. Jose Cuervo Tequila represented 34.1% of total net sales for 2018, with value sales up 1% compared to 2017.

In the UK, the brand capitalised on National Margarita Day last year with the appointment of a ‘salt sommelier’.

In June this year, Jose Cuervo launched a new multi-year, multi-million-dollar campaign to celebrate the brand’s 250-year history, called Father of Tequila.

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