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Upscale And Mainstream Brands Register Strong Gains Amid A Thriving Tequila Market

January 25, 2021

In spite of the ongoing pandemic and diminished on-premise environment, Tequila consumption continues to surge to new heights, surpassing 20 million cases (excluding pre-mixed cocktails) in the U.S. for the first time ever in 2020, according to Impact Databank. While a host of luxury-priced contenders continue to provide momentum, Tequila’s largest-selling premium labels have also seen an influx of 100% blue agave extensions, which have carved out a significant share in a space once reserved for mixtos.

Tequila shipment volume from Mexico to the U.S. increased 24% in 2020, representing an 89% share of all exports worldwide, according to the Consejo Regulador del Tequila. The 100%-blue agave segment once again outperformed the Tequila market overall, with shipments to the U.S. rising 31% last year and comprising over 60% of total volume. The retail value of Tequila in Nielsen channels for the 52 weeks ending December 26 soared 54% to over $2.2 billion, compared to a 25% gain for the entire spirits sector.

Category leader Jose Cuervo has had success with its 100%-blue agave Tradicional expression, which has more than doubled over the past four years, reaching 287,000 cases in 2020. Jose Cuervo Especial Silver has also helped boost the franchise, after it rose 33% last year to nearly 2 million cases overall. Beam Suntory’s Hornitos has also been thriving, and it advanced an estimated 13% in 2020 to 1.15 million cases, according to Impact Databank. Other premium-priced Tequila brands posting solid gains lately include Gallo’s Familia Camarena and Brown-Forman’s El Jimador.

The luxury Tequila segment is led by Bacardi-owned Patrón, which is estimated to have been the fifth-largest selling spirit overall in the U.S. in dollar terms in 2020, according to Impact Databank. Other high-flying upscale labels include two brands from Diageo—Don Julio and Casamigos—recent launch Teremana, and Campari’s Espolon, which soared over 50% last year in the U.S.—Juan Banaag


Top 10 Tequila Brands In The U.S. Off-Premise
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand Company 52 Weeks Ending
52 Weeks Ending
1 Jose Cuervo Especial Proximo Spirits 714 873 22.2%
2 Hornitos Beam Suntory 181 239 32.6%
3 Patrón Bacardi USA 155 203 30.7%
4 Sauza Beam Suntory 253 179 -29.0%
5 Cazadores Bacardi USA 101 150 49.1%
6 1800 Proximo Spirits 97 132 36.4%
7 El Jimador Brown-Forman 95 112 18.1%
8 Espolòn Campari America 63 108 73.1%
9 Don Julio Diageo North America 42 76 80.3%
10 Casamigos Diageo North America 40 71 79.0%
Total Top 10 1,739 2,144 23.3%
Other Tequila 618 865 39.9%
Total Tequila2 2,358 3,009 27.6%
1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.

Source: IRI and IMPACT DATABANK © 2021

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