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Exclusive: Cuervo Sharpens Focus On 100%-Blue Agave Tradicional With Multi-Million Dollar Campaign

June 17, 2019

With 100%-blue agave Tequilas soaring in the U.S., market leader Jose Cuervo is turning up the volume on its higher-priced Tradicional tier with a new multi-million dollar ad campaign called the “Father of Tequila.” Last year, the Jose Cuervo brand had a U.S. media spend of $15.4 million, according to Kantar, up 8.8% from the previous year.

Created with advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the ads highlight Cuervo’s heritage as the originator of 100%-blue agave Tequila. The campaign includes 15- and 30-second TV spots set at a party hosted by the “Father of Tequila” and featuring pioneers and innovators in the arts and sciences throughout history. The Tequila dates back to 1795 and has passed through 10 generations of Cuervos, starting with its namesake, José Antonio de Cuervo.

“Cuervo Tradicional is the most recognized super-premium Tequila in Mexico and has been a staple there for hundreds of years as the original 100%-agave recipe,” says Lander Otegui, Cuervo’s head of marketing. “The time is now to celebrate our founding father’s story.” The Tradicional range includes both a Blanco and a Reposado, and retails at around $23 a 750-ml.

Jose Cuervo Tradicional has been a dynamic performer for Cuervo’s U.S. subsidiary Proximo Spirits, up 26% to 190,000 cases in 2018, according to Impact Databank. In Nielsen channels for the year ended May 18, Cuervo Tradicional grew by 20.9%, outpacing the total 100%-blue agave segment. Overall, Jose Cuervo is the largest Tequila brand in the U.S, up 2.5% last year to 3.6 million cases.

While the majority of Cuervo’s volume is in mixto Tequila, the company is emphasizing its 100%-blue agave offerings as consumers continue to move upmarket. The 100%-blue agave segment accounted for only 8.6% of Tequila volume in the U.S. in 2000. By last year, it numbered more than 11 million cases, to comprise a 57.2% share.—Shane English

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