With the growing popularity of Mezcal, new brands have appeared and others have been bought or launched by international beverage corporations who want to be part of this tendency. These big companies are owners or partners of the mezcal brands that you can find everywhere.
We Agavache have the commitment to create an educated demand, which values and demands quality, sustainability and social responsibility to mezcal brands. For that reason, we give you some information to consider the next time that you ask for a mezcal.
In accordance with the last annual report from the CRM, mezcal grew 38% by commercial value from 2018 to 2019. It reached $ 6,942 millions pesos (mxn). Also, mezcal exports has kept a constant increasing since 2011, which hit 37% more in 2019. Following the money value, the biggest income to the industry is by exports rather than the domestic sales. In comparison, exports reached $ 5,433 millions pesos (mxn) versus domestic sales which only reached $ 1,509 millions pesos (mxn). Obviously, this has taken the attention from international beverage companies for a slice of the pie and, in recent years, millionaire acquisitions have been done.
In 2020, the french group Pernord Ricard backed the new mezcal brand Ojo de tigre to accelerate its growing. In 2018, the Mexican actor Luis Gerardo Méndez launched this mezcal brand in partnership with Casa Lumbre, which is also owner and producer of Mezcal Montelobos, Ancho Reyes Nixta and Abasolo whisky. In 2012, Mezcal Montelobos was part of the portfolio and distribution plan of William Grant & Sons; but since 2019, Campari group bought the majority steak of this brand and its sister brand Ancho Reyes.
Ojo de Tigre is the second mezcal brand integrated to Pernord Ricard’s catalog. Its first acquisition was Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal in 2017.
The english company Diageo had worked in partnership with Mezcal Unión since 2016, supporting the brand’s distribution and exports. Finally, in this current year, Diageo completed Mezcal Unión acquisition. Diageo is owner, also, of mezcal Pierde Almas and tequila & mezcal brand Casa Amigos, which bought to George Clooney and Rande Gerber in 2017 by the extravagant amount of $1 billion dollars.
Bacardi participates into the category as minority investor in Ilegal mezcal and as distributor of Casa Guillermo Prieto mezcal’s portfolio. The Mexican tequila enterprise Casa Jose Cuervo built two mezcal brands, 400 Conejos and Creyente, to compete with the handcraft artisanal mezcal brands. And the last big player to make a move into the “mezcal boom” is Constellation Brands, which has been backed Mezcal El Silencio since 2019. As part of its portfolio, it manages Corona and Robert Mondavi.
In the infographic “Which mezcal do you drink?” you will find the mezcal brands related with international liquor companies and 3 facts behind them:
- Which is the big company involved it? As owner or as part of stakeholders or as a distributor.
- Is it artisanal or industrial mezcal? This matters because it is always better to consume an artisanal mezcal for its natural flavors, variety and its traditional and cultural background. Industrial mezcal usually contains chemical ingredients.
- What is its origin? Some brands were successful start-up projects before being acquired, and others were launched by the corporations themselves.
According to Euromonitor figures, tequila and mezcal grew 30% by volume in the global market, a strong reason why new players are appearing. In fact, there are already some foreign star-ups with famous names behind emerging in the mezcal market; as LeBron James with his brand Lobos 1707 and David Mayer Rothschild and his brand The Lost Explorer.
The reason why these brands are well positioned is because the big beverage companies behind them have a strong economic capacity to spend on publicity, and channels for world wide distribution. I recommend you to choose artisanal mezcal from small branches and small producers, but if you don’t find them, give one of these brands a chance. I believe that their plain standard flavors are perfect for someone who is tasting mezcal for the first time or to use in mixology. Besides, they help you to have a better judgement when you taste a mezcal with more advance aromatic profile.
BELLWOOD, Owen (09 October 2019), Campari buys majority stake in Montelobos mezcal, The Spirits Business. Published in: https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2019/10/campari-buys-majority-stake-in-montelobos-mezcal/
CAMPARI GRUOP (10 September 2019), Campari Group acquires a controlling interest in the Ancho Reyes and Montelobos super premium brands. Published in: https://www.camparigroup.com/sites/default/files/downloads/20191009_cpr_montelobos_anchoreyes_eng.pdf
CARRUTHERS, Nicola (02 August 2017), Pernord completes Del Maguey Acquisition, The Spirit Business. Published in https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2017/08/pernod-completes-del-maguey-acquisition/
CARRUTHERS, Nicola (03 May 2018), Diageo buys Pierde Almas mezcal, The Spirit Business. Published in: https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2018/05/diageo-buys-pierde-almas-mezcal/
ENTREPRENEUR en Español (23 July 2020), Luis Gerardo se une con Pernord Ricard para llevar el Mezcal Ojo de Tigre al mundo, Entrepreneur en Español. Published in: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/353678
FRENCH, Phoebe (20 July 2020), Pernord Ricard backs Ojo de Tigre mezcal, The Drinks Business. Published in: https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2020/07/pernod-ricard-backs-ojo-de-tigre-mezcal/
KIELY, Melita (17 April 2019), Constellation brands invests in Mezcal El Silencio, The Spirits Business.Published in: https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2019/04/constellation-brands-invests-in-mezcal-el-silencio/
MARIKA, Sheila (06 November 2021), If you sell Oaxaca in a Bottle, what happens to Oaxaca, The New York Times. Published in: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/06/business/mezcal-sales-growth-oaxaca.html
PASKIN, Becky (29 October 2013), Bacardi becomes leading mezcal distributor in Mexico,The Spirit Business. Published in: https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2013/10/bacardi-becomes-leading-mescal-distributor-in-mexico/
PRNEWSWIRE (17 September 2012), William Grant sons launches Montelobos mezcal joven, Prnewswire. Published in: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/william-grant–sons-launches-montelobos-mezcal-joven-170021936.html
VASQUEZ, Mabi (12 March 2021), Las 8 tendencias de bebidas destiladas que debes considerar en tu planeación 2021, Agavache blog. Published in: https://agavache.com/las-8-tendencias-de-bebidas-destiladas-que-debes-considerar-en-tu-planeacion-2021/
VASQUEZ, Mabi (19 July 2021), 5 Razones por las que debes tomar Mezcal cuando visitas Oaxaca, Agavache blog. Published in: https://agavache.com/5-razones-por-las-que-debes-tomar-mezcal-cuando-visitas-oaxaca/
SOUSA, Rafaela (13 August 2021), Diageo to expand its agave spirits portfolio with casa UM buy, FoodBev Media. Published in: https://www.foodbev.com/news/diageo-to-expand-its-agave-spirits-portfolio-with-casa-um-buy/
Picture Mezcal El Silencio from: https://thirstymag.com/mezcal-el-silencio-nyc/