Prickly subject

The company recently established a dedicated division, headed by industry veteran John Kilmartin, to focus on the channel. “And we now also have new products and packaging exclusively dedicated to travel retail,” Wilson adds. 

For Brown-Forman, global travel retail is very important because of the great ‘seeding’ opportunities for its brands. “We’re able to target consumers where they buy and when they are in an exploratory mind-set,” El Jimador’s Grindstaff says. “Global travellers are looking for premium brands with heritage and stories to tell when they travel and our tequilas are a perfect fit to these needs.”

El Jimador’s focus is currently on US airports as well as Mexico, namely Cancun. One would assume that’s mixto rather than the high end in the latter outlet. Grindstaff says his company is “looking for the right opportunities to highlight Herradura and has even focused efforts in South Africa and Moscow”.

Tequila has shaken off its hangover. It’s less about the salt, shot, lime, (grimace) and more about the sipping, savouring, (smiling).  The figures support this and signs show tequila literacy is underway. As more companies, celebrities and continents join the mix, tequila is increasingly being taken seriously. 

Agave shortage might be a future concern but it doesn’t appear to be disturbing brands’ siestas just yet.