Consumers can’t seem to get enough of tequila and beer from Mexico these days, but which brands are growing the fastest?
Modelo Especial is the top Mexican beer brand consumed in the U.S., according to early projections in the Beverage Information Group’s 2023 Industry Overview, with an 11% increase in 2022 to nearly 180 million 2.25-gallon cases.
Jose Cuervo is by far the tequila leader in the U.S., with 2022 consumption exceeding 5 million 9-liter cases — up 5% over 2021. The fastest-growing tequila among the leading brands is Lunazul; it increased 48% in 2022. The second fastest-growing brand is Teremana, which rose 41%, followed by Casamigos (increased 26%) and Don Julio (up 23%).
While mezcal consumption lags tequila in the U.S., the leading brands posted impressive growth: The top five mezcal brands all increased more than 30% in 2022. The number-one brand, Ilegal Mezcal, rose a whopping 86%.
An MRI-Simmons USA National Consumer Study provides some insight on tequila preferences among different consumer demographic groups. The study, which looked at tequila brands that respondents drank in the past six months, found that Cazadores, Herradura and Casamigos were popular among men, while Sauza, Jose Cuervo and Patrón were most favored by women.
Casamigos, Cazadores, Don Julio, Patrón and Sauza were the brands that the Millennials drank most often.
More than two-thirds (67%) of respondents with household income of $75,000 or higher said that they drank Casamigos tequila in the past six months, compared with just 7.4% of those with annual incomes of less than $30,000. Camerena, Cazadores and Herradura also appeal to higher earners, with 62%, 60% and 59%, respectively, of respondents with income of $75,000 or more.
Of all the tequila brands cited, Margaritaville had the highest percentage (17%) of drinkers with annual income of less than $30,000, while 19% reported income of $30,000 to $50,000, and 18% have annual income of $50,000 to $74,000. But as with all of the brands, the plurality (46%) of respondents who drank Margaritaville in the past six months were from the highest-earning consumer group.
Melissa Dowling is editor of Cheers magazine, our on-premise sister publication. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and read her recent piece, The Top Tequila Trends in 2023.