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Patrón Toasts Roca Range’s Fast Start, Readies New Liqueur Rollouts

September 22, 2014

Patrón Spirits Company’s artisanal Roca Patrón line, launched this summer, has far exceeded initial projections and is re-energizing the upscale Tequila brand for the company, which has further releases on the way. Patrón Spirits CEO Ed Brown tells SND the core Patrón offering is currently seeing a resurgence that looks likely to increase its global volume—which was just over 2 million cases in 2013—by double-digits this year.

Roca Patrón—which includes Silver (90 proof), Reposado (84 proof) and Añejo (88 proof) and retails between $69.99-$89.99 a 750-ml.—has sold 42,000 cases to date, blowing past expectations for about 37,000 cases from September through December. “The initial response to the Roca line has been phenomenal,” Brown says. “Consumers are seeing just how good a Tequila we can make. I believe that Roca can be a million-case brand.”

The Roca Tequilas are made using the traditional “tahona” process and rested in single-use Bourbon barrels for varying periods of time (five months for Reposado and 14 months for Añejo). So far, the line is performing best in on-premise accounts in traditional Tequila markets like California, New York and Florida, with Chicago’s performance also standing out. Brown says a focus on mixologists and bartenders, as well as new energy on the digital marketing side, is paying dividends. “We’ve really stepped up our game digitally and in social media, which is leading the Roca charge,” he notes.

Meanwhile, Patrón is bolstering its liqueurs line with two national releases this fall: the recently launched Patrón Citrónge Lime, tying in with the Margarita occasion; and the upcoming Patrón XO Café Incendio, set to debut ahead of the Halloween holiday, which Brown says is pivotal for XO Café. Spanish for “fire,” Incendio (30% abv) plays on the recent trend toward spicy liqueurs by combining smoky Mexican arbol chile with Criollo chocolate flavors and Patrón Silver Tequila. The company hopes it will revive the sagging XO Café line, which was down 6% last year to 150,000 cases in the U.S. “XO Café has been a struggle because it’s a shooter-type brand,” Brown explains. “For those types, you have to keep coming out with really attractive flavors for the consumer.”

Patrón Spirits’ other offerings—Pyrat rum and Ultimat vodka—have been performing well. Pyrat was up 5.6% to 32,000 cases last year, while Ultimat grew 2% to 25,500 cases.

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