Stateways May-June 2013

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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With overall tequila sales rising and upscale expressions becoming an everlarger niche, retailers and tequila producers see the category's fortunes increasing into the future. By David Lincoln Ross oday's tequila marketers continue to innovate, with new and established creating category-expanding sparkling and flavorful line extensions, launching scores of 100% agave entries at a variety of retail price points from $25 on up to triple-digits, and devising new promotional, merchandising and advertising programs with greater frequency and reach as never before. Yet for all that activity, surely the biggest news in years in this growing category is that the Jose Cuervo brand is moving on July 1 from worldwide drinks giant Diageo, its longtime global and U.S. marketer, to Proximo Spirits, a New Jersey-based importer owned by the Beckman family, whose ancestor, Jose Cuervo, founded the Mexican distillery in 1795. Cuervo remains the U.S. leader, with sales of more than 3.1 million cases nationally in 2012, exceeding the next leading tequila brand, Patron, by more than a million cases, according to the Beverage Information Group's 2013 Handbook Advance. For the record, Diageo North America said through a spokesperson: "Diageo remains committed to the tequila category and Don Julio will be our main tequila offering for the time being." For his part, Juan-Domingo Beckmann, Casa Cuervo's chief executive officer, said in a widely reported statement, "Diageo has been a significant partner of Jose Cuervo for many years, but with 10 generations of tequilamaking in the family, Casa Cuervo is excited to embark on this next chapter in the strategic expansion of its world-renowned tequilas." Shortly after Beckman's announcement, Proximo's CEO and president, Mark Teasdale, commented in a prepared statement: "Jose Cuervo is the world's As of July 1, the sales, marketing and distribution in the biggest tequila brand, and we are excited to take over its sales, marketing and U.S. of Jose Cuervo tequila distribution for the USA and Canada." portfolio will be handled by For Proximo Spirits, which was formed in late 2007, the arrival of the Jose Proximo Spirits, joining the Cuervo juggernaut is bound to be a transformational event. It will surely place top-selling tequila brand in the U.S. with Proximo's 1800 new operational pressures on its sales and marketing departments, while simultequila portfolio, which is now taneously offering it greatly increased sales leverage with its distributors as well the fourth best-selling tequila as merchants, on- and off-premise. All this for a company which has since its in the U.S. T 54 StateWays I I May/June 2013

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