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CGA: Tequila sales soar in US bars

Tequila experienced the largest volume increase of all spirits categories in the US on-trade in 2021, climbing by 54%, according to CGA data.

Tequila Masters Margarita
The Margarita cocktail has helped to drive sales of agave spirits in the US on-trade, CGA said

CGA’s On-Premise Measurement service (OPM) analysed the performance of Tequila in bars and restaurants in the US, and whether its growth will continue.

The analysis noted that vodka (26.6%) and whiskey (26.4%) were the most popular spirits in the US on-trade, however Tequila has managed to steal share from other spirits categories.

At of the start of December 2021, Tequila held almost 16% of spirits sales by volume, a ‘significant’ increase from the category’s 11.5% volume share by the end of 2016, CGA highlighted.

CGA noted that silver variants hold the greatest volume share (52%) within the category, climbing by 57% over the past year.

However, CGA said subcategories, such as reposado (57% growth) and gold (49% growth), have risen in popularity with drinkers. Añejo also experienced ‘significant growth’ over the past year, rising by 61% as Tequila drinker’s tastes evolved in parallel with whiskey consumers, CGA said.

Furthermore, CGA said the category’s growth was boosted by the popularity of the Margarita cocktail, with 49% of drinkers consuming it when out in on-trade venues (CGA Opus data, autumn 2021).

According to Beverage Trak data cited by CGA, the Tequila-based serve is the most popular cocktail by value velocity for 43 out of 48 US states.

Patrick Bannon, CGA client director, Americas, said: “Tequila is no doubt a popular choice for consumers. It is important over the next period to see how this preference evolves and changes.

“It will be interesting to see whether the offering of different Tequila types will expand further in outlet and Tequila offerings will mirror that of whiskey.

“It’s crucial for suppliers and operators to understand where the different types will grow and what opportunities will present themselves in the on-premise.”

Sales of high-end Tequila soared by 83% during the third quarter of 2021, according to data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the US.

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