Top nine best-selling Tequila brandsBy Georgie Collins
Boosted by celebrity endorsements and a popularity hike for Margaritas, there seems to be no stopping the Tequila category going from strength to strength, and this year’s ranking of the best sellers shows it.
The rise in the number of famous-faces bringing out Tequila brands over the last 12 months has definitely had us questioning whether having a Tequila brand is now a prerequisite of being a celebrity, and with the likes of singer Rita Ora, reality TV star Kendall Jenner and actor Kevin Hart all jumping on the agave bandwagon this past year, it’s starting to look like it might just be.
Given the category’s star-studded developments, its probably no surprise it was celeb-founded Tequila brand Casamigos that took the Supreme Brand Champion title this year, but star power hasn’t quite had the same effect for Sauza this past year, which failed to post any growth and subsequently has dropped down the rankings.
Earlier this month, we released our Brand Champions 2022 report outlining the sales of the world’s biggest spirits brands. Based on our findings, we’re counting down the biggest-selling agave spirits on the market now.
Scroll through to discover the top nine best-selling Tequilas of 2021, listed in order of their nine-litre-case sales.
Data listed is to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied to The Brand Champions 2022 report.
% change: -12.3%
Place last year: 7
It was another tough year for the Beam Suntory-owned Tequila brand as Sauza fell in the rankings for a second year in a row, following a 12.3% dip in sales.
While it has stayed above the one million case-mark, if the brand continues on this downward trajectory, it is unlikely we’ll see it on next year’s list – a surprise considering Justin Timberlake has fronted a number of campaigns for the brand.
% change: 23.3%
Place last year: N/A
Espolòn joined the million-case ranks last year, up by 23.3% to 1.1m cases. The Campari Group-owned Tequila is available in five different expressions; Blanco, Reposado, Reposado Chardonnay, Añejo, and Cristalino, all of which are made with hand-harvested 100% Blue Weber agave.
7. Olmeca (including Altos)
% change: 20.9%
Place last year: N/A
Olmeca has placed on the list for the first time this year following a 20.9% uplift in sales, taking it to the 1.1m case mark.
The brand has taken significant steps to appeal to a younger legal-drinking age market in the last year, creating the industry’s first virtual influencer to drive engagement and brand advocacy among ‘party-starting’ drinkers aged between 18 and 28 years old.
The bottle also saw a redesign earlier this year to showcase the spirit’s fun side and attract a younger, party-going audience. Again, the new design has been created with consumers aged between 18 and 28 years in mind. Time will tell if Gen Z’ers respond to the brand’s efforts, but for now the future is looking bright for the Tequila.
6. El Jimador
% change: 13.4%
Place last year: 5
Following last year’s 10.6% drop in sales, Brown-Forman’s El Jimador Tequila has made up for its losses and returned to the sales mark of 1.4m cases it saw previously in 2019.
In its half-year results to December 2021, Brown-Forman’s pair of 100% agave Tequilas, which includes Herradura, posted strong growth, but it was only El Jimador that posted sales above 1m cases.
% change: 21.4%
Place last year: 4
Beam Suntory’s Hornitos brand climbed closer to the 2m-case mark with 21.4% growth in the last year, though it has still dropped one position in the top-sellers list overall.
In February, the brand pledged US$135,000 to support non-profit organisation Glaad, the world’s biggest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation.
% change: 95.6%
Place last year: 6
For the second year in a row, Casamigos has taken our Tequila Brand Champion title and also been named our Supreme Brand Champion. The brand reported a whopping 95.6% sales increase to 2.2m 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.
3. Don Julio
% change: 50.3%
Place last year: 3
Casamigos stablemate Don Julio reported an impressive 50.3% growth to 2.7m cases in the last year. The almost one million case climb has landed it in the top 10 of the fastest-growing brands of the last 12 months, and in Diageo’s financial results for the six months to December 2021, the firm noted that Don Julio grew its organic net sales by 43%, led by its performance in the US.
% change: 3.6%
Place last year: 2
Bacardi-owned Patrón Tequila has continued to hold onto silver position in our list of the best-selling Tequilas, even with a minimal sales boost of 3.6%.
The brand has had a big year, launching an añejo Tequila in partnership with Fortnum & Mason, as well as hosting its Patrón Perfectionist cocktail competition, which concluded last month. The brand has also seen collaborations with Formula One driver, Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez, and shoe designer John Geiger.
In October 2021, the brand called time on its coffee-flavoured liqueur, XO Cafe; an announcement which caused uproar amongst Patrón’s fanbase.
1. Jose Cuervo
% change: 8%
Place last year: 1
The world’s biggest-selling Tequila, Jose Cuervo, recorded a modest growth (up 8%) in the last year, and it is slowly closing in on 8m cases for the first time.
Learn more about the brand’s journey to global growth through this history of Jose Cuervo.
Last year saw the brand expand the availability of its Playamar hard seltzers throughout the US and add two new flavours to the range: mango and black cherry.