Cachaça: One trick pony?

Vlierboom adds: “The producers which have been active in the past decade have been mainly volume driven which has flushed the European market with the cheaper end product, commoditising it. As the produced volumes are so big in Brazil from the larger producers’ perspective they find the European market extremely small and do not always understand the dynamics of building a brand over time.”

Maia says: “Cachaça has a strong potential and is already appreciated by more than 51 countries which buy Cachaça 51. We have the purpose to keep on developing both Cachaça 51 and Reserva 51 in the locations where we are having great results, besides introducing new products from our portfolio and increasing our share in Brazilian exports.”

Pitú says: “Challenges in Europe: Keep the attention level high while other categories such as gin, whisky and rum are growing.

“In Germany and many other European Countries Pitú is promoting the mixability of fruity and light drinks which are called Batida: promotion with glass on packs, recipe book-lets, bar equipments etc.

Riewe-Høgh says:“The two biggest challenges for cachaca are that nobody knows about it, and nobody talks about it. The challenge for the category is how to communicate the narrative of good quality cachaca de alambique and the variety in flavours that it offers.

“But who should invest in and perform that communication? We believe it demands a coordinated effort between various stakeholders that as of now looks difficult to unify in common efforts,“ says Riewe-Høgh.


“Once upon a not-too-distant past, gin was only for G&Ts and Martinis, and look what’s changed there,” points out Duff.

“Spirits such as genever, singani, pisco, aquavit, even mezcal, all find themselves in the same boat. To begin to deliver real volume, they need to become ‘just another spirit’, with or without the safety net of a signature cocktail or two. Indeed, singani, aquavit and mezcal don’t even have any classic cocktails to fall back on.”

Maia says: “Product diversification is on the rise and becoming a trend. New products for different consumers and consumption occasions are becoming common, such as the case with the product we are launching, 51 Assinatura (51 Signature). We had developed three ranges of cachaça (jambu, smoked and amaro) together with three of Brazil’s most well-regarded mixologists, in addition to the liqueur flavour, created by product development specialists. All of them can be consumed in their natural form or in cocktails.”

Riewe-Høgh adds: “The potential for cachaca is massive. Not only is it an interesting product for bartenders to work with, but current trends are also shifting towards more dry and ‘dirty’ cane spirits/rum.

“It would be great to see cachaca as a category that is represented with more than just one bottle at the back bar, and something that bartenders would find use for outside the classic Caipirinha.”


According to Vlierboom, there are opportunities in premium and super-premium products for international markets, with continuous large volumes in local markets.”

Maia says: “The category has been making strong efforts to achieve a market growth, but few will be able to reach a level of quality to remain in the market after some long years. It is necessary to invest in technologies and be always attentive to what is new in the market to reach an outstanding position among so many competitors.”

“Cachaca has long been fighting to be acknowledged as a category of its own, says Riewe-Høgh. “To some extent I understand the need to stand out, but with the current development in rum demand, I fear that cachaca has chosen a strategy that could leave it as a spectator to a growing niche it could have been part of.