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US consumers to spend more on mezcal and Tequila than whiskey 

Americans are set to spend more money on Tequila and mezcal than they will on US whiskey in 2022, according to new data from the IWSR.

The predictions, re-highlighted in reports, estimated that US$13.3 billion would be created in combined agave spirit sales versus US$12.5 billion for vodka and US$12.3 billion for American whiskey.

Analysts at the IWSR have additionally estimated that the agave category also will have supplanted vodka, making it the US’s most-purchased spirit category, proving that the trend for Tequila and mezcal will continue to see some headroom for some time yet, potentially cannibalising other spirits categories.

IWSR research director Adam Rogers said: “Multiple factors are driving growth for agave spirits, but the main trends impacting the category include increasing household penetration through celebrities, extending consumption occasions through ready-to-drink products, as well as new and exciting flavored products entering the market.”

Last year, agave-based spirits were the US’s third-largest spirits category, behind only vodka and whiskey. However, Tequila consumption alone has risen by more than 30% between 2015 and 2020, with the category’s premium brands up by over 60%.

Indeed, Tequila’s ultra-premium sub-category has the highest rates of forecasted expansion, with a predicted CAGR in volume and value of over 14% from 2019 to 2024.

Despite Tequila sales soaring, it is actually also down to the rise of mezcal which saw 53% growth in value in 2021 over 2020, compared to Tequila, which grew just 27%.

The trend for celebrity-backed Tequilas appears to also be playing a role in moving the agave spirits category forward. From Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Teremana Tequila to Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, many stars are aiming to emulate George Clooney’s success with his Casamigos brand which he sold to Diageo in 2017.

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