By James Wells

The head of Suntory Australia, Ian Atherton, has thrown down the gauntlet to the tequila market by signing Sierra Tequila to the company's portfolio replacing Jose Cuervo which was lost to Diageo earlier this year.

“We know how to market tequila exceptionally well and have a proven track record,” Atherton said, after alluding to Suntory’s achievement of doubling the size of Jose Cuervo sales over a five year period.

Suntory is hoping Sierra’s number one position in the European market will translate to the local market. Sierra has maintained over 70 per cent market share in Germany for decades and this market follows Mexico and the USA as the brand’s third largest market.

Atherton believes the Sierra brand has the potential to occupy a similar position in the Australian market.

Suntory has signed the distribution agreement with German company Borco International, based in Hamburg, and the majority stakeholder in ‘Destilerias Sierra Unidas’ in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Sierra, previously distributed in Australia by Halloran Manton for more than a decade, was the winner of the 2010 International Spirits Challenge and IWSC Trophy 2010.

“We are very grateful for the effort Halloran Manton made into building the brand in Australia and for their continuous support,” said Borco CEO, Mrs Jutta Matthiesen.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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