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“Hot Brand” Tequilas: Diageo’s Dynamic Duo Leads The Way

April 25, 2023

With Tequila continuing to be among the best-performing areas of the drinks market, it’s no surprise that the category fielded 12 winners among Impact’s “Hot Brands” this year. While the 12 awardees cover a range of price points, all are made of 100% blue agave.

Tops among Hot Brand Tequilas this year is Diageo’s Casamigos, which soared by 21%—or more than 400,000 cases— to nearly 2.4 million cases in the U.S. in 2022. After years of rapid growth, Casamigos is now about 300,000 cases larger than portfoliomate Don Julio, which also earned a Hot Brand award after cresting the 2-million-case mark. Don Julio recently launched a new campaign titled Por Amor, For the Love, celebrating brand founder Don Julio González, and also extended the brand with Don Julio Rosado, a Reposado Tequila finished for at least four months in Ruby Port casks. “Tequila still has a long runway” in the U.S., outgoing Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes noted recently.

Proximo Spirits’ 1800 likewise surpassed 2 million cases in the U.S. last year, jumping 14.5% according to Impact Databank. Proximo also has two other Hot Brand Tequilas, Jose Cuervo Tradicional and Gran Centenario, which now combine for more than 600,000 cases. Last fall, Gran Centenario added a Cristalino Tequila ($80) to its range. “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, told SND. “The experience is a much smoother tasting liquid, which is attracting an entirely new consumer set into the category.”

Beam Suntory’s Hornitos brand and Campari America’s Espolòn label both register above the million-case mark, and likewise continue to see double-digit gains. Heaven Hill’s Lunazul will almost certainly cross that milestone soon as well after rising 48% to 918,000 cases last year. Teremana is in a similar position. The ascendant brand leapt 49% to 915,000 cases in only its third year on the market. If these brands continue on their current trajectories, there could be seven Tequila brands over one million cases among next year’s Hot Brands.

Other Hot Brand winners from the Tequila category this year include Bacardi’s Cazadores, William Grant & Sons’ Milagro, and Spirit of Gallo’s Familia Camarena. Cazadores unveiled a special edition 100 Year Estate release ($40) last year, while Milagro has lately been leveraging premiumization trends to trade consumers up to its higher-priced Select range.

Impact’s “Hot Brand” Tequilas
(thousands of 9-liter cases)
Brand Importer 2021 2022 Percent
Casamigos Diageo North America 1,975 2,380 20.5%
Don Julio Diageo North America 1,845 2,075 12.5%
1800 Proximo Spirits 1,755 2,010 14.5%
Hornitos Beam Suntory 1,509 1,690 12.0%
Espolòn Campari America 979 1,110 13.4%
Lunazul Heaven Hill Brands 620 918 48.1%
Teremana Mast-Jägermeister US 614 915 49.0%
Cazadores Bacardi USA 602 759 26.0%
Milagro William Grant & Sons USA 498 605 21.4%
Familia Camarena Spirit of Gallo 375 435 16.0%
Jose Cuervo Tradicional Proximo Spirits 353 397 12.5%
Gran Centenario Proximo Spirits 184 230 25.2%
Total Tequila Hot Brands 11,309 13,524 19.6%
*Based on unrounded data.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2023
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