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US drinkers driven by occasion not category

Consumers in the US are more driven by occasions rather than categories when choosing their alcoholic beverages, revealed the marketing head of Campari America.

Campari America’s portfolio includes Wild Turkey Bourbon

Andrea Sengara, head of marketing for Campari America, noted how consumers are gaining more knowledge about different cultures and drinking habits, which in turn is leading them to explore “more complex flavours”.

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Sengara said: “Consumer curiosity means they are gaining more knowledge about cultures and drinking habits, and that also extends into greater interest in more complex flavours.

“There’s so much to discover in Tequila, mezcal and American whiskey. What we’re seeing them do, is enter these categories at different price points.

“But once they come in, they don’t stay there; they’re interested in exploring and educating themselves on different flavours, products and drinks that continue to enhance their experiences.”

Recent data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis revealed Tequila has overtaken American whiskey in the US to become the second most valuable spirit category. By the end of 2023, IWSR predicts Tequila will topple vodka to take the number-one spot.

Campari America’s portfolio includes Espolòn Tequila, Wild Turkey Bourbon and Skyy Vodka.

Despite Tequila’s gains on American whiskey and vodka, Sengara is not concerned about agave-based spirits stealing market share from stablemates in the group’s portfolio.

“We have a portfolio strategy because we are positioning Tequila to win in a growing category,” Sengara added. “In the last year we launched a cristalino Tequila with Espolòn, we just announced a big partnership for Cabo Wabo, a Tequila brand we’ve been a little quieter on in the past, but we plan to go bigger with it.

“Then when we look at the whiskey portfolio, we have Wild Turkey, which has been successfully premiumising over the last few years. We also acquired a minority stake in Howler Head as a leader in flavoured whiskey.

“We want to position ourselves and our brands to appeal to what consumers are interested in. So we see their interest in Tequila, and we’re there. They’re interested in American whiskey, so we’re there. We’re trying to position ourselves and our portfolio across all key areas where consumers are showing they’re interested in these categories.”

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