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Spain’s Zamora Aims To Raise Its U.S. Profile

September 6, 2019

Third-generation family-owned Zamora Co. is undertaking a new push in the U.S. market, recently announcing an expansion of its Dallas-based Zamora Co. USA subsidiary and a national distribution partnership with Southern Glazer’s. Known for its flagship Licor 43 liqueur and Ramon Bilbao wines, Spain-based Zamora has revenues of approximately $230 million.

“We have a clear vision to be a global company,” Zamora CEO Emilio Restoy tells SND. “The U.S. represents about 25% of all premium spirits consumption worldwide, so it’s a no-brainer that we need to be relevant in that market. That’s why we created our own route-to-market—to maximize the opportunities for our premium brands.”

To that end, Zamora has been ramping up its U.S. investment, forming its Zamora Co. USA unit about a year ago in partnership with Double Cross vodka owner Old Nassau Imports. Initially, the Zamora Co. USA portfolio included Licor 43, Double Cross, Yellow Rose whiskey, Martin Miller’s gin, and Lolea sangria. Earlier this month, the range was expanded with Zamora’s Ramon Bilbao, Ribera Cruz de Alba, and Mar de Frades wine brands, as well as Villa Massa Limoncello. Those labels were previously handled by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits.

Zamora Co. USA is led by CEO Bill Corbett, formerly senior vice president of sales at Rémy Cointreau USA. The company now has a team of 35, and is partnered with Southern Glazer’s across 41 markets. Restoy says Licor 43 and Rioja-based Ramon Bilbao—which together account for about 65% of Zamora’s global volume—are priorities.

Licor 43 has hovered around at 65,000 cases in the U.S. in recent years, while Ramon Bilbao is at about 13,000 cases. Pointing to Licor 43’s success in Mexico, where it’s often consumed with coffee, Restoy says Licor 43 has an opportunity to tap into the Latino demographic in the U.S. Martin Miller’s, which is now at around 35,000 cases, has been rising in the upscale gin segment and also has greater upside, the company believes, as upscale gins garner growing interest within the mixology community. Similarly, Lolea sangria has been gaining traction, jumping from 17,000 cases in 2015 to 53,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

Zamora is also present in the American whiskey segment with Houston, Texas-based Yellow Rose, in which it took an equity stake in 2017. For now, Restoy says Yellow Rose is focused mainly on Texas and other southern states, but will roll into more markets moving forward.—Daniel Marsteller

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