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Proximo: Cristalino Tequilas Are Expanding The Category’s Audience

November 3, 2022

Amid a category sweeping surge for premium- and luxury-priced Tequilas, Proximo spirits is expanding its upscale Gran Centenario line, adding a new Cristalino Tequila, priced at $80 a 750-ml. While Cristalino Tequilas—Añejo offerings filtered until clear—make up a small part of the high-end Tequila market by volume, they are increasingly popular offerings from premium and higher priced brands, with competitors like Espolòn as well as Proximo portfoliomates like Gran Coramino and Jose Cuervo Tradicional, among others, releasing Cristalino Tequilas this year.

Cristalinos are also contributing to the premiumization effect that helped Proximo parent Grupo Cuervo post 20% sales growth to $581 million in its third quarter ended in September, including a 14% surge to $326 million in the U.S. and Canada on volume of 3.5 million cases.

“The Cristalino style offers the depth of flavor and complexity from an aged spirit, coming from maturation in the barrel, with the versatility and brightness of a Blanco Tequila that mixes well in cocktails,” Lander Otegui, CMO at Proximo Spirits, tells SND. “The experience is a much smoother tasting liquid, which is attracting an entirely new consumer set into the category.”

Gran Centenario’s Cristalino is made from Añejo and Extra Añejo Tequilas, which are blended and further matured in Calvados barrels before filtration. Otegui adds that the combination of characteristics from Blanco and Añejo Tequilas lend the release to sipping neat, in highballs, and in other long drinks.

According to Otegui, Cristalino Tequilas make up an outsized portion of value at Tequila’s high end. “With our expanding portfolio of Cristalino offerings at every price point—ranging between $35 for Cuervo Tradicional Cristalino, up to Maestro Dobel 50 at $150—and our uniqueness in maturation and cask finishes, we continue to be leaders and drive the category forward as a whole,” he says.

More broadly, Otegui says Proximo is seeing growth across all price points for its Tequila portfolio, with the company continuing to capture market share. For 2022, he highlights Jose Cuervo Tradicional’s growing success and new Cristalino, as well as Maestro Dobel at the higher end. “The Maestro Dobel portfolio is maintaining strong momentum nationally through our PGA Tour partnership, as well as investment in our key markets with activations such as our Official Tequila Partnership with the Miami Open,” he says.

Amid recent gains in the premium and higher segments of Tequila, Otegui sees plenty of room for further growth. “Compared to whiskey and vodka, there is still runway as drinkers explore different variants and expand their cocktail repertoire into classic cocktails that haven’t traditionally used Tequila,” he says.—Shane English

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