Tequila wants to break out of party perception

Brown-Forman wants to change the perception of tequila from a drink to be consumed in shot form on celebratory nights out to a drink to be savoured.

The drinks maker plans to push the benefits of tequilas made with “100% Agave” nectar over brands that are made from a near-even split of Agave and “other sugars”.

Charlotte Ashburner, senior brand manager at Brown-Forman, which also makes the Don Eduardo and Herradura tequila brands, says consumers and sellers need educating about the benefits of enjoying the drink like Mexicans “where it is respected and sipped” in order to boost the category.

“Most UK consumers see tequila as a shot, which is a short, sharp shock. We really want to change this UK perception.

“We need UK consumers to understand tequila as they do brandy. Just as there are cheap, nasty brandies and very high quality brandies, there are really cheap and nasty tequilas and very high quality tequilas,” she says.

Ashburner adds that the tequila category has not been growing “in line with expectations” because of the lack of 100% Agave products.

According to Nielsen, off-trade growth in the category, which includes Diageo’s José Cuervo,slowed to 4.6% in the year to 12 June, down from 17.2% a year earlier.

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