Pernod buys into mezcal boom

Pernod Ricard has bolstered its mezcal offering by taking a majority stake in the ‘Del Maguey Single Village’ brand.

Pernod Ricard US’s New Brand Ventures division announced yesterday (7 June) that the company had taken a majority share in the brand and the transaction was expected to close within 90 days. The amount paid was not disclosed.

Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal was created in 1995 by “artist and entrepreneur” Ron Cooper and each of the nine spirits in the range is made from agave grown around a particular village in the Oaxaca region of Mexico.

Cooper said: “We partnered with Pernod Ricard because they understand and appreciate our mission of preserving the culture of the Zapotec people and protecting the traditional process of making mescal.

“Through this partnership, our management team will gain increased opportunities to distribute our products to mezcal lovers around the world while also ensuring that the palenqueros – or families we work with – are able to continue crafting their liquid art for generations to come.”

The management team of Del Maguey – including Cooper, Michael Gardner and Steve Olsen – as well as its other teams and operations will all remain in place.

Jeff Agdern, senior vice president of Pernod Ricard USA’s New Brand Ventures Division said: “Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal is highly respected by consumers and the industry for its brand authenticity and relationships with local farmer producers.

“This acquisition has also been made possible thanks to Pernod Ricard Mexico teams that provided a deep appreciation of the link between mezcal and the economic vitality of the villages where it is produced.”

Global mescal sales rose to US$80 million in 2015 according to International Wine & Spirits Research. Volumes in the US jumped 279% between 2005 and 2015.

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