818 Tequila heads to ChinaBy Nicola Carruthers
Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila brand has made its first move outside of the Americas after partnering with a distributor in China.
Jenner, who rose to fame on reality show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, released 818 Tequila in May 2021.
Made from 100% Blue Weber agave in Jalisco, Mexico, the 818 Tequila portfolio includes three expressions – blanco, reposado and añejo. It is currently available across the US and Canada, and in select markets in the Caribbean.
From 18 August 2022, China’s leading independent distributor, China Bev, will launch 818 Tequila in on-trade venues across Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen.
Mike Novy, 818 Tequila president and chief operating officer, said: “818 Tequila is thrilled to take its first step outside North America with China Bev, an industry-leading importer and distributor of alcoholic beverages in China.
“Our US launch in May 2021 sparked interest globally, which quickly led to our expansion into the Caribbean and most recently, Canada. Partnering with China Bev is a natural next step in bringing our ultra-smooth, award-winning liquid to consumers globally.”
The distribution deal will be backed by limited nationwide e-commerce before rolling out to all major cities across Mainland China in October, primarily focused on the on-trade and direct-to-consumer e-commerce channels.
Paul Gelinas, China Bev co-founder, added: “818’s super-smooth flavour profile and unique brand voice will allow us to reach beyond the limitations of China’s traditional Tequila category, while engaging a broad audience both on-premise and through e-commerce.
“We look forward to working with 818 to become the super-premium category leader in our market, and to building greater awareness of high-quality Tequila here in China.”
Headquartered in Beijing, China Bev is also the co-owner of Commune, China’s largest on-trade alcohol retail chain.
Jenner’s Tequila brand has come under fire in recent months.
In April, Jenner was forced to remove an Instagram post of her Tequila after a complaint that it promoted irresponsible drinking was upheld.
It also recently found itself in conflict with Texan brand Tequila 512, which accused 818 Tequila of alleged trademark infringement.
Last year, Novy told The Spirits Business the brand has been planning a luxury-focused international expansion strategy.