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Jose Cuervo Jumps Into Hard Seltzer With Playamar Brand

August 13, 2020

Hard seltzer’s explosive growth is leading major players from across the drinks industry to enter the fray. According to Impact Databank, the top seven hard seltzer brands in the U.S. accounted for around 89 million (2.25-gallon) cases last year on 217.5% growth, and if anything the category appears to be further accelerating this year.

Now Jose Cuervo, the lead brand in the Proximo portfolio, is looking to get in on the action with the launch of Playamar Tequila Hard Seltzer. Made with Cuervo Tequila, the new RTDs are launching in lime and grapefruit flavors reminiscent of the Margarita and Paloma cocktails. Playamar is debuting in an initial six states this month, retailing at $12 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans. Each can of Playamar is at 4.5% abv, contains 90 calories, zero sugar, and zero carbs, and is free of gluten and artificial flavorings.

Lander Otegui, Proximo’s senior vice president of marketing, sees significant opportunity for Playamar in the off-premise, where RTDs have been serving as a replacement for the on-premise cocktail experience. “We almost doubled our RTD and prepared cocktails business over the second quarter, giving a lift to our business overall,” Otegui tells SND.

Beyond selling well in their own right, RTDs and seltzers like Playamar are increasingly seen as an entrypoint to convert consumers to a spirit brand’s core offerings. The advantage is twofold: using Cuervo Tequila in Playamar distinguishes it from malt-based seltzer competitors while also courting consumers who haven’t ventured into the Tequila space before.—Danny Sullivan

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