Patrón fuels growth with travel retail surge

Patrón Tequila has confirmed a number of major new travel retail listings, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region, where the brand grew sales by 82% last year.

Describing the latest listing at Tokyo’s Narita airport as “definitely one of the crown jewels in our global duty free footprint,” John McDonnell, COO at Patrón Spirits International, commented: “The spirits offering at Narita has long been dominated by brown spirits and local products, and so a listing for Patrón there is enormously significant.”

In addition to this new Japanese foothold, which begins in November, Patrón has also secured listings for its range at Seoul Uncheon Airport in South Korea, as well as duty free outlets in Cambodia and Taiwan.

Speaking to the drinks business, Greg Cohen, director of corporate communications at Patrón, confirmed Asia Pacific as “our fastest growing market” as he pointed to the rise of the white spirits sector.

“While traditionally a brown spirits market, increasingly consumers in that part of the world are discovering white spirits, especially at the ultra-premium level,” Cohen remarked.

Observing that “white spirits are expected to grow by more than 3% in the region in the coming years,” Cohen explained: “The new generation of consumers there don’t want to drink what their fathers and grandfathers drink, yet they’re still looking for sophisticated luxury products.

“A brand like Patrón Tequila fits well into that trend, and we’ve been successful in educating people that a high-quality, high-end white spirit brand like Patrón can be sipped and enjoyed just like a nice whisky or Cognac.”

The company, whose brand portfolio features Pyrat Rum and Ultimat Vodka alongside the core Tequila range, has also stepped up its travel retail presence in other parts of the world, with listings in Armenia, Serbian capital Belgrade, Italy’s Milan, Finnish capital Helsinki and Morocco.

In the Middle East, the US-based firm added a duty free listing in Muscat, Oman; while developing its South American travel retail presence with new listings in Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay.

With Patrón products now abailable in more than 130 airports and 700 duty free outlets worldwide, McDonnell remarked: “It’s very exciting to see the momentum behind our brands, all across the globe.

“Consumers clearly have an affinity for our products, and duty free operators have discovered the profit potential never before seen in the white spirits category.”

In-depth analysis of the white spirits market, especially Tequila, will appear in November’s issue of the drinks business.

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