More than 100 media and industry trade representatives attended a Tequila panel discussion and exclusive tasting event yesterday sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and the Mexican National Chamber for the Tequila Industry (CNIT) during the Annual Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans.
The panel discussion, “A Taste of Mexico by Way of New Orleans,” featured DISCUS Senior Vice President Mark Gorman, CNIT President Eduardo Orendain and CNIT Director General Francisco Soltero.
DISCUS highlighted Tequila’s category growth in the United States including key statistics such as:
· Since 2002, U.S. imports of Tequila have grown 67%, an average of 5.8% per year.
· Last year alone, nearly 12 million 9-Liter cases were sold in the U.S., and Tequila revenue grew 5.2% to $1.8 billion dollars.
· While value and premium brands make up the bulk of the Tequila market in the U.S., the fastest growth has been in the high-end and super premium price segments.
· High-end brands have grown more than 150% in volume since 2002; last year, volume was up 14.6% (with revenue up 15.8%).
· Virtually unknown in 2002, super premium volumes have skyrocketed nearly 400 percent to more than 1.7 million cases; last year, volume was up 11.3 percent (with revenue up 10.5 percent).
DISCUS Senior Vice President Mark Gorman
CNIT provided an overview of Tequila production in 2011 and Tequila exports globally. Key statistics included the following:
· Tequila production in Mexico grew by 1.5% in 2011 to 261.4 million liters at 40% ABV.
· Total exports grew 7.5% in 2011 to 163.9 million liters at 40% ABV.
· 998.1 thousand tons of agave were consumed for Tequila production in 2011.
· Current Agave inventories in Mexico hover around 229.8 million plants.
· The top 10 Tequila export markets include the U.S. (78% of exports), Germany (4.1% of exports), Spain (2.3% of exports), France (2.2% of exports), Russia (1.2% of exports), Japan (1% of exports), United Kingdom (1% of exports), Brazil (.8% of exports), Canada (.7% of exports) and Singapore (.6% of exports).
Following the panel discussion, attendees had the opportunity to sample a variety of super premium tequilas, including DISCUS member company brands Patrón, Herradura, Don Julio and Sauza.