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Super-Premium Tequila: Rapid Growth In The $25-$40 Segment

June 22, 2022

While much of the focus in the Tequila category has been on the booming above-$40 luxury tier, 100%-agave offerings retailing in the super-premium $25-$40 segment have become a force in their own right. According to Impact Databank, super-premium Tequilas have averaged 19% annual growth over the past five years, and they bested that mark last year with a 25% bump. The $25-$40 segment’s volume reached 5.8 million cases in 2021, up from 3.2 million cases just three years earlier.

Proximo Spirits’ 1800 brand, at nearly 1.8 million cases, leads the super-premium tier by a significant margin after roughly doubling in size over the past four years. 1800 has been a key player in Proximo’s premiumization strategy, which helped parent company Grupo Cuervo reach $1.9 billion in sales overall last year.

Campari-owned Espolòn has also been a key driver in the $25-$40 segment, and is poised to blow past the million-case mark in the U.S. this year. “Blanco has long served as the recruitment into the brand,” says Sean Yelle, senior category marketing director for white spirits at Campari America. “But we’re finding that consumers are starting to dig a little bit more. As they hear about aged Tequila, they’re exploring within the range of our Reposado and Añejo offerings. We’re seeing a nice little trade-up happening within the portfolio of people entering in through blanco and then continuing up as they explore.”

Jill Palais, senior brand manager for Milagro Tequila, agrees. While the Margarita remains the most popular cocktail in the U.S., helping to drive overall category volume growth for Silver Tequilas, she also notes that “much of the recent growth has been attributable to aged variant sipping occasions.” Milagro soared to nearly a half-million cases in 2021 and continues to rise.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana brand has catapulted to the No.-3 spot in the super-premium tier, and is already among the top 10 Tequilas in the U.S. overall after launching just two years ago. “Consumers caught on to Teremana quickly and we sold 400,000 9-liter cases in our first 12 months, which we were all blown away with,” says Nicole Austin, senior brand manager. “We were out of stock a lot due to the unprecedented demand. We were able to increase our production, but we will only grow as quickly as we can ensure we are making Teremana in the same high-quality, crafted way.” Austin says Teremana is on track for “amazing growth” in 2022 as well.

“It’s growing exponentially as a category, and it’s really not showing any signs of slowing down, which is great for Cazadores,” adds Jay Needham, brand director for Tequila Cazadores, part of the Bacardi portfolio. “We’re experiencing double-digit growth as a brand, and particularly with the on-premise, bars and restaurants that have come back into the equation, we’re seeing triple-digit growth compared to last year,” he says.—Carol Ward

Leading Tequilas In The U.S. Retailing At $25-$40
(thousands of 9-liter cases)
Brand Importer 2020 2021 Percent
1800 Proximo Spirits 1,528 1,755 14.9%
Espolòn Campari America 768 979 27.5%
Teremana Mast-Jägermeister US 230 614 +
Cazadores Bacardi USA 561 602 7.2%
Milagro William Grant & Sons 349 498 42.8%
Altos Pernod Ricard USA 359 339 -5.6%
Corralejo Infinium Spirits 197 218 10.5%
Gran Centenario Proximo Spirits 141 184 30.1%
Total Leading Brands2 4,133 5,190 25.6%
1 based on unrounded data
2 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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