The pandemic and the imbalances it has brought to global value chains are sad that the tequila industry has managed to drown with more shots in 2021: amid restrictions on consumption and shortages of supplies, the production of spirits has risen by 40, 9% grew to a record 527 million. liters.
Most of this increase is contributed by the 100% agave tequila segment, whose production has grown by 60% to 366 million liters, reports Luis Félix Fernández, president of the National Chamber of Tequila Industry (CNIT), according to figures from the Tequila Regulatory Council. .
“It’s a segment with a bit more premium features, of which we’re also exporting more,” he says in an interview with El Economista. 100% agave tequila, the most selected among distilled agave drinks in the country, accounted for seven out of every 10 liters of tequila made in Mexico last year.
According to market type, production for domestic sales had a spectacular increase of 115% to 188 million liters, but Félix Fernández explained that part of the increase in production was not necessarily marketed last year, as it includes distillate which is still produced by one of aging in barrels before being bottled.
However, the remarkable growth in production is a reflection of the expectations of a flourishing demand for this and the following years. In Mexico, Félix said, tequila continues to gain market share and is responsible for just over 40% of the consumption of distilled beverages.
Exports grew by 18% to 338 million liters, equivalent to 64% of total production. 85% of the product shipped from Mexico went to the United States, a country where tequila is one of the three beverages with the highest growth in consumption, along with whiskey and cognac, and there is still a significant margin for growth.
“In the last three years, the share of tequila has gone from 6 to 8% and we think the potential is between 10 and 15% in the next five years,” said Félix Fernández.
“There is great versatility in the drink and that is what we promote, there are few distillates that serve as starters, digestifs, which can also be taken in cocktails or can be enjoyed on their own,” he added.
And speaking of drinks, the margarita has become one of the most popular in the United States, where even celebrities like George Clooney or Kendall Jenner have tried to capitalize on the success of tequila and introduce their own brands.
Luis Félix Fernández has mixed feelings. On the one hand he acknowledges that the invasion of famous figures in the tequila business gives the product greater publicity, but on the other hand it is names without roots in the industry whose business model is usually to make up the distillate, without a fine. larger investments.
2021, test passed
Amid the growing appetite for its product, the industry has also suffered from value chain disruptions due to unequal productive reactivation due to the pandemic. It has experienced glass shortages in particular and has also experienced logistical bottlenecks in various ports, although as the United States is the main export market, it has advantages such as exporting products in bulk – by country.
On the other hand, the closure of restaurants and bars and the subsequent opening in limited capacities negatively affected the consumption of alcoholic beverages, but there was an adjustment of the market and the moments of consumption changed to home, where consumption skyrocketed has, being the United States is also the benchmark market.