Explosion of growth for tequila

on 20/12/10 at 5:29 pm


Growth for tequila
The rotgut that has given generations of college students hangover horror stories is as popular as ever, but much recent industry growth comes from the push for something that can compete with high-end scotch or cognac.

The last decade has seen an explosion of growth for tequila made entirely of blue agave instead of agave mixed with cane sugar — the potentially hangover inducing so-called “mixto” brands.

According to the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry, total mixto export — the historical industry backbone — dropped 3,1% between 2008 and 2009.

But industry exports grew 5,1% overall, most notably 100 percent blue agave tequila, which increased 3,3% over the same period and has grown more than 300 percent since 2000.

The largest export market is the United States, and according to figures from Euromonitor some 11,3-million cases of tequila were sold in the US in 2009, bringing in a total of $476,5-million.

Many tequilas are now aged in oak barrels, while the newest trend is using old bourbon, sherry or cognac casks to add nuance and suppleness to something once as subtle as the spiked end of the agave leaf.

There are also signs of a trickle-down effect, with high-end quality tequila beginning to show up at mid-range prices.

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