Jose Cuervo tequila sales have soared in the third quarter, with global sales up 28% to 2.3million cases.
Net sales of Jose Cuervo increased 62% compared to the same period in 2019 and represented 39.8% of total net sales for the quarter.
The flagship brand for Becle, Jose Cuervo led the Mexican company’s results, which saw its global volumes grow by 26% in the July to September quarter.
Overall Becle sales in the off-trade were up by 32% compared with 2019 and against industry average growth of 22%, driven by the on-premise shutdown.
The year over year growth reflected a 51.2% increase in the US and Canada, driven by strong consumer take-away and depletion trends, and continued strong performance of the tequila and ready-to-drink category.
“Our ready-to-drink margarita category performance was very strong in the third quarter, with depletions up 42%,” said Mike Keyes, the head of Proximo, Becle’s US affiliate.
“How big can tequila get? I think there’s still plenty of runway. If we look at the other categories that have seen this growth historically, vodka or whiskey, there’s still plenty of runway. And I think tequila benefits from a couple of different things. Some of it, pandemic-related and some of it just consumer preference-related.”
“I think that consumers have really gotten behind two things. One is, they’ve gotten behind Margaritas. And with the on-premise closed predominantly, they have the ability to easily make those cocktails in a convenient way at home.
“The second thing I would say is that tequila has gotten a reputation as a healthy alcohol choice and a crafted alcohol choice. And it’s really — people are looking at tequila much the way they looked at high-end whiskey years ago.
As for the fortunes of Jose Cuervo post-COVID-19, Keyes is bullish.
“We were outperforming the competition pre the pandemic and we continue to do so,” he said. “The pandemic closed some opportunities – in terms of brand promotion and development – which are now reopening. In the short to medium term consumer behaviours will not change.”