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Tequila’s “Hot Brands” Showing Strong Momentum In 2022

August 29, 2022

Earlier this year, a total of 13 Tequila labels earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors based on their 2021 performances. With the category continuing to surge, nearly all of the award winners are up by double-digits in control states through the first half of this year, auguring well for another big growth year when all is said and done.

Diageo’s dynamic duo of Don Julio and Casamigos continues to make its presence felt at the upscale end of the Tequila category, with both brands posting double-digit gains in the first half in control states. Impact Databank projects that both brands will cross 2 million cases this year. “The category has very broad momentum across demographics … and we have two of the hottest brands in Casamigos and Don Julio,” Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes told analysts recently. “The most developed states are places like California, Texas, and Arizona, where Tequila represents about 20% of the spirits volume. The value will be higher. If you look at the rest of America—states like New York, Florida, New Jersey—there’s a lot of America where the share of Tequila is still sub 10% of the total market. And we’re seeing consumer traction everywhere.”

Teremana Tequila, founded by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, Jenna Fagnan, and Ken Austin, showed the sharpest growth of any Tequila Hot Brand in control states in the first half, up 154% by volume. Distribution partner Mast-Jägermeister became a strategic investor in Teremana earlier this year. “Teremana is about the respect for crafting great Tequila and delivering that to the consumer,” says senior brand manager Nicole Austin, noting the brand’s ongoing rapid growth this year. “Our partners and co-owners are a generational Tequila making family in Jalisco, Mexico (the Lopez family). Teremana is a labor of love for Dwayne and it is also about legacy—it’s generational and special.”

William Grant & Sons’ Milagro was also among the fastest growers in control states through six months of 2022, after leaping 43% to just under a half-million cases last year, according to Impact Databank. “We’re using this momentum to our advantage and forecast a doubling in size of business,” says Paul Basford, William Grant & Sons U.S. president and managing director. “We see a strong runway for Milagro, particularly within aged variants and sipping occasions as consumers move beyond Silver.”

Other Hot Brand Tequila labels showing double-digit growth in control states this year include Hornitos, Espolòn, Jose Cuervo Tradicional, Exotico, and Corralejo. “As consumers hear about aged Tequila, they’re exploring within the range of our Reposado and Añejo offerings,” says Sean Yelle, category marketing director, white spirits, at Espolòn marketer Campari America. “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.”

U.S.—Tequila “Hot Brands” Year-to-Date1
Brand Importer Total1
2022 YTD2
Percent Change
in Control States
Don Julio Diageo North America 1,845 20.4%
1800 Proximo Spirits 1,755 5.3%
Hornitos Beam Suntory 1,429 12.7%
Casamigos Diageo North America 1,425 67.7%
Espolòn Campari America 979 11.7%
El Jimador Brown-Forman 848 -12.8%
Teremana Mast-Jägermeister 614 154.2%
Juarez Luxco Inc (MGP) 537 5.2%
Milagro William Grant & Sons 498 42.1%
Herradura Brown-Forman 363 -7.2%
Jose Cuervo Tradicional Proximo Spirits 353 11.3%
Exotico Luxco Inc (MGP) 238 11.3%
Correlejo Infinium Spirits 218 12.8%
Total “Hot Brand” Tequilas 11,102 22.8%
1 Thousands of 9-liter cases.
2 Year-to-date through June.
Source: NABCA and IMPACT DATABANK © 2022
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