Close Menu

Constellation eyes potential in Middle East

Constellation Brands is seeing growing demand for spirits in the Middle East, as international cocktail culture influences the region’s on-trade.

High West Constellation
Constellation Brands’ portfolio includes High West Whiskey

Constellation Brands’ portfolio includes American whiskey producer High West Distillery and Mi Campo Tequila.

Speaking to The Spirits Business during ProWein 2024, Taco Lucassen, vice-president EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) at Constellation Brands, explained how he was seeing demand for international spirits – such as High West Whiskey and Mi Campo Tequila – grow in the Middle East.

“We see in the Emirates, 90% of the population is not Emirate,” Lucassen explained. “Spirits are taking a massive lead from the London bartender scene. There is a lot of interlink between London and Dubai, and the cocktail scene [in Dubai] is growing.

“Saudi Arabia is getting its first alcohol store. Hospitality is expanding in five-star hotels. It’s a very dynamic scene.

“These restaurants, hotels and bars are important for our portfolio growth; this is where we build demand because we can’t do marketing on the open market.

“We can only access consumers through the on-premise; that’s where we focus on getting access to consumers and getting engagement.”

Constellation Brands acquired High West Distillery in 2016. The American whiskey producer is based in Utah in the US. High West was founded by David Perkins and his wife, Jane Perkins, in 2004.

Earlier this year, The Spirits Business travelled to Chamonix in France to meet Brendan Coyle, master distiller at High West Distillery.

Constellation Brands’ wine and spirits sales fell by 4% in fiscal 2023, with a double-digit decline in the fourth quarter.

In regards to new product development, the producer released the 11th edition of A Midwinter Night’s Dram, the distillery’s largest release in the series so far.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No