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Beam Suntory’s Sauza Sees Higher-Priced Offerings Gain Traction

June 13, 2018

Beam Suntory’s Sauza Tequila was up 10.7% in the U.S. last year to nearly 2.5 million cases, according to Impact Databank, ranking second in the Tequila market by volume behind Jose Cuervo. While the brand’s entry-level mixto offerings remain key volume contributors, its higher-priced, 100%-agave expressions are increasingly driving growth for the franchise.

Leading the way for Sauza is its Hornitos range, which retails at $25 and up. Hornitos was up 12% to 810,000 cases last year, and is being backed by a recently launched “A Shot Worth Taking” ad campaign, which is running across social media, print, out-of-home, and video channels. Last October, Hornitos rolled out a new Cristalino offering that retails at around $30. The Cristalino starts as triple-distilled Añejo Tequila, aged at least 12 months in traditional American white oak casks, and then undergoes a filtering process that results in a clear spirit.

Sauza’s 100%-agave Signature Blue tier is similarly advancing, growing nearly 20% to just under 340,000 cases for 2017. Retailing between $15-$17 a 750-ml., the Blue range comprises a Silver and Reposado, with the Silver expression accounting for the bulk of growth recently.

“We’re seeing Tequila fans trade up within our portfolio to our 100%-agave offerings in both the on- and off-premise channels,” says Matt Plumb, marketing director for U.S. Tequila at Beam Suntory. “Consumers are reaching for more premium Tequila options as they become more experienced in the category.” Plumb adds that Sauza’s entry-level mixto Tequilas, retailing in the $10-$13 area, saw a mixed performance last year, with the Silver expression enjoying solid growth and the Gold offering roughly flat in volume terms.

Meanwhile, Sauza is also looking beyond traditional Tequila to boost sales, launching ready-to-drink hard sparkling water brand Sauza Agua Fuerte earlier this spring. Featuring a Tequila base, the Agua Fuerte lineup offers Lime, Grapefruit, and Mango expressions, which are packaged in slim 12-ounce cans and currently available in select markets for $3 a can or $10 for a four-pack.—Christina Jelski

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