11th July, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
Pernod Ricard USA has demonstrated its belief in the growth potential for high-end Tequila in this market by acquiring a majority stake in ultra-premium brand Avión.
The drinks group had already been involved with the brand as a minority stakeholder and distributor since the creation in 2011 of a joint venture with Ken Austin, founder and chairman of Tequila Avión, and Jenna Fagnan, president of Avión Spirits.
Based up in the Jalisco hills, Avión prides itself on an enhanced flavour created by slow-roasting its Blue Weber agave at low temperatures, before carrying out a “proprietary ultra-slow filtration process” which, the brand maintains, gives the product “an unusually smooth” profile.
In addition to this majority stake in Avión, Pernod Ricard also owns Olmeca Tequila.
In a statement confirming this latest deal, Pernod declared: “This transaction reflects Pernod Ricard’s confidence in Avión’s brand equity and growth potential, and the brand’s important role in Pernod Ricard’s growth ambitions in the United States, the largest market of the group.”
Commenting on the “excellent results” achieved by the joint venture to-date, Bryan Fry, CEO of Pernod Ricard USA, hailed the brand as having become ”a bartender and consumer favourite and today benefits from very strong brand equity and momentum.”
He added: “With our increase in ownership we are pleased to further strengthen this partnership to continue to build a successful brand in the years ahead.”
Meanwhile Austin described the project so far as “a dream come true story”, claiming: “While there is much work to be done, we are well on our way to become an iconic brand of the future.”
Looking ahead to the brand’s future development, he commented: “The Pernod Ricard people, their distributors and brokers, their route to market strategy and entrepreneurial spirit have been and will continue to be key drivers in taking Avión to the next level.”