Raise a glass to tequila on Monday 24 July and celebrate the iconic Mexican spirit in all its glory. International Tequila Day is an opportunity to recognise the diverse spirit, which is quickly becoming a staple in the Australian spirits category.
Last year the margarita was Australia’s most popular cocktail on-premise, with tequila being the second-most preferred spirit base after vodka. As Australians across the country seek to satisfy this growing thirst, drinks market analysis firm IWSR predicts a bright future for the Australian tequila market.
Ernesto Acuña Lucke, Marketing Director of highly awarded Mexican tequila Casa Don Ramón, said: “More and more Australians are moving towards enjoying their tequila neat or on the rocks, but the margarita continues to be one of the most popular cocktails in the country.”
“Casa Don Ramon saw a growth of 82 per cent globally in 2022, with Australia being one of the most important tequila consuming countries behind the United States and Mexico.”
Ewen Pettit, Co-Founder and Director of premium drinks business Superdrop, identifies the trends that have allowed the Australian tequila market to evolve to a place of sophistication and a deeper level of discovery.
“While tequila is in hyper growth here in Australia, the most important shift here is in education. Drinkers are becoming more knowledgeable about good tequila and are willing to explore – like we have seen in whiskey. The next shift will be what we call ‘after margarita’ as drinkers look for more exciting and innovative cocktails and formats for tequila.”
“The signals of progress in the category tend to come from the US and I believe we will see movement in new product segments, first to spring to mind is flavoured tequila and Cristalino tequila which is an aged tequila (an anejo) but filtered to remove naturally occurring colours, aging and maturation staples for the super-premium space, and of course further innovation within Tequila RTD.”
Creators of Mexican-made, Australian-owned tequila brands Delgados and Soldada, Superdrop pride themselves on adhering to the traditional codes of the spirit. “We are consumer and culture obsessed – we are especially interested in identifying trends from overseas and trying to capture the energy of that trend for Australians.”
“Tequila is a juggernaut in the US and we have been watching the sophistication of the drinker and category unfold in front of our eyes over the last number of years. We decided to develop a tequila strategy and focus our attention on bringing accessible premium tequila to the Australian drinker as the market matures.”
“Delgados Tequila Soda came first. We were witnessing two huge trends in Australia – the rise of premium tequila and the surging growth of RTD. We brought these two concepts together and developed a premium tequila RTD that was spirit forward, leaning into innovative flavours with the ‘better for you’ credentials of a seltzer.”
Having forged a strong relationship with its distillery in Mexico, Superdrop later created its full bottle spirit Soldada, providing a quality tequila consistently available in times of tequila shortages.
“In the short term, Soldada stands out primarily based on the distinctiveness of the brand identity against some very iconic but traditional brands. Longer term, Soldada will be synonymous with innovation in tequila.”
One of the fastest growing products in the premium spirit category, the IWSR predicts that tequila will hold a 55 per cent share of global category value by 2026. As Australians get a taste for the distinct agave flavour, the tequila boom has only just begun.