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Tequila Brand Champion 2022: Casamigos

Tequila Brand Champion 2022: Casamigos

The past year has seen the Tequila category continue its upward trajectory, boosted by demand in the US and star-studded launches.

Collectively, the Tequila and mezcal category registered 11.7% growth from 2020 to 2021, according to figures from Euromonitor International.

In the US, the biggest market for agave spirits, Tequila and mezcal sales rose by 30.1% in revenue to US$5.2 billion last year. Tequila topped luxury spirits sales in the US in 2021, climbing by 75%, data from the Distilled Spirits Council of the US revealed.

The past year has seen more celebrities jump on the Tequila bandwagon, including Kevin Hart and Eva Longoria. Meanwhile, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Teremana Tequila brand looks to be on a similar trajectory to Casamigos Tequila, as we’ve covered on pages 6-7.

For the second year in a row, Casamigos has taken our Tequila Brand Champion title. The brand reported a whopping 95.6% sales increase to 2.2 million cases in 2021, far outpacing all other million-case-selling Tequila brands.

The growth is impressive when you consider that it only surpassed one million cases in 2020.

The brand has seen its volumes nearly double on an annual basis since 2017, the same year it was acquired by drinks giant Diageo in a deal worth up to US$1 billion.

In a conference call for Diageo’s fiscal 2021 sales, the company’s chief executive, Ivan Menezes, said Tequila represents around 20% of the firm’s US business. “Casamigos grew 126% [in the US],” Menezes said.

“I’m not sure that’s going to sustain but you’re going to see very, very fast growth. Now one of the things we feel about the Tequila category going forward is that we do see a lot of runway.

“This category is – if you look at the dynamics at work – cutting across demographics, it’s cutting across occasions, the versatility of drinks and the association with the health and wellness of agave, all of those bode really well.”

Menezes also noted that California was the most developed Tequila market in the world.

He continued: “If you look at Nielsen sales, Tequila is about 20% of spirits in California. A lot of the country is still sitting at about 10% or lower.

“Our growth rate is double the growth rate of the Tequila category because the acceleration is happening at the top-end price points.”

Looking across the other top performers in the Tequila category, most brands recorded increases in 2021, with many in double-digit growth. The only exception is Sauza, which saw sales fall by 12.3%.

Diageo’s Don Julio brand reported an impressive 50.3% growth to 2.7m cases.

Beam Suntory’s Hornitos brand climbed closer to the 2m-case mark with 21.4% growth.

Meanwhile, Espolòn joined the million-case ranks last year, up by 23.3% to 1.1m cases.

The world’s biggest-selling Tequila, Jose Cuervo, recorded more modest growth (up 8%), but it is close to surpassing 8m cases for the first time.

Figures: million 9l-case sales
Brand Owner 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 %+/-
Jose Cuervo Becle 6.7 6.7 7.3 7.3 7.9 8.0%
Patrón Bacardi 2.6 2.5 2.8 3.1 3.2 3.6%
Don Julio Diageo 1.3 1.5 1.7 1.8 2.7 50.3%
Casamigos Diageo 0.1 0.4 0.6 1.1 2.2 95.6%
1800 Tequila Becle 1.34 1.47 1.64 1.87 2.05 9.6%
Hornitos Beam Suntory 1.1 1.3 1.3 1.6 1.9 21.4%
El Jimador Brown‐Forman 1.2 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.4 13.4%
Olmeca (including Altos) Pernod Ricard N/A N/A 1.0 0.9 1.1 20.9%
Espolòn Campari Group N/A N/A N/A 0.9 1.1 23.3%
Sauza Beam Suntory 2.2 2.1 1.8 1.2 1.0 -12.3%

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