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Casamigos takes Supreme Brand Champion title

Diageo-owned Casamigos Tequila has achieved the Supreme Brand Champion title for 2022, led by its sales performance in the US.

Casamigos Tequila
Casamigos Tequila was founded by actor George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013

*To view the full Brand Champions 2022 report, click here.

The past few years have seen Tequila sales skyrocket. The category has been catapulted into the spotlight as numerous celebrities enter the sector and drinkers move from downing the spirit to sipping it neat or in cocktails.

One brand that is shining brightly is Casamigos Tequila, founded by actor George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013. It was sold four years later to Diageo in a deal worth up to US$1 billion, which helped Clooney become the highest‐paid actor in 2018 on Forbes’ annual list.

The brand’s portfolio includes three expressions – Blanco, Reposado and Añejo – alongside a mezcal, which joined the range in 2018. The name Casamigos comes from Spanish words ‘casa’, which means ‘house’, and ‘amigos’, meaning ‘friends’.

The brand nearly doubled its volumes to reach 2.2 million nine‐litre cases in 2021, just a year after it surpassed the million‐case mark for the first time. This momentous growth has earned Casamigos its first Supreme Brand Champion title.

Casamigos chairman Gerber said: “I believe the success that we’ve created for Casamigos has been changing the perception of Tequila. When we created Casamigos, we wanted something that was very different from every other Tequila, something with no burn.”

According to Gerber, the Tequila brand’s performance can’t be attributed to one market in particular. “When you have the best product, the best marketing is word of mouth,” commented Gerber. “This is why Casamigos has become such a huge success across the globe.”

In Diageo’s financial results for the six months to December 2021, the firm noted that Casamigos grew its organic net sales by 88%, led by its performance in the US. Casamigos, along with its stablemate Don Julio, gained share of the US spirits market and the Tequila category, boosted by ‘broad occasion appeal’.

Gerber also noted that the brand has recruited drinkers from other categories. “So many people are drinking Casamigos, more and more every day, and they spread the word,” said Gerber. “A lot of those customers who were drinking vodka, whisky, gin and other liquors are now drinking Casamigos.”

Gerber said the biggest challenge facing the category is “having enough supply” to meet demand. “We make our Tequila the old‐fashioned way so we can’t speed things up.”

Casamigos founders Rande Gerber and George Clooney
Reigning supreme: Gerber and Clooney
Supply vs demand

Gerber continued: “The success of Casamigos over the past year was due to people ordering it once and people ordering it again. Depletions are all about that. The fact is, if it’s not a great product then [consumers are] not going to order it again, so [supplies are] not depleted. Our depletions are 100% so we can’t even supply our demand. We’re constantly playing catch up.”

Last October, Diageo revealed plans to invest more than US$500m in expanding its production in Mexico. The funding will be used to increase its manufacturing footprint with new facilities in Jalisco. Diageo said the investment will boost the company’s growth in the Tequila category both in the Mexican market and internationally.

Rande also believes that consumers appreciate the Casamigos brand for its authenticity. “The fact that we’ve become the number‐one‐selling ultra‐premium Tequila is based on the quality of our Tequila, not some fancy bottle or campaign,” he insists.

“Casamigos is brought to you by those who drink it. It’s not a celebrity brand. We made it to drink, not to start a company. People appreciate the authenticity of our story. George, Mike and I created it, own it, drink it, run the company and live the lifestyle. We are just three guys that know what we like and want to share it, one of us just happens to be a celebrity. The numerous awards and accolades Casamigos has received is a result of the spirit itself.”

Regarding its digital strategy, Gerber said its marketing and social media are done in‐ house. “Our social media channels are a reflection of George and me,” he explained. “It’s very important to be consistent with who you are and what you’re about. Your brand reflects you. I actively participate in each creative decision for the company.

“I’m incredibly detail‐oriented and everything we do creatively comes from my Malibu office to develop innovative marketing for the brand.”

As for what’s next for Casamigos, Gerber said the brand was “always thinking ahead and has some ideas in the works”.

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