Forget the gin boom, tequila could be the next big thing.
According to figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, British consumers drank more tequila than ever before in 2016, with value on-trade sales alone reaching £160million (+6%).
Volume was also up in bars and restaurants, with volume sales up 3% to 1.9 million bottles for the 12 months to 31/12/16.
Sales in the on-trade in particular showed a rise in the thirst for premium tequila, as consumers moved away from swigging shots to high-end cocktails and sipping spirits.
Value sales were much lower in the off-trade, but growth was still significant with a rise of 7% in volume and 5% in value to £13million.
Overall, sales of tequila have risen 37% in two years.
- The Wine and Spirits Trade Association
Value-wise, £4 million pounds of total yearly sales in 2016 was taken during the 12 week festive period, and volume rose 12% compared to the same period the year before.
“The UK has seen a boom in Tequila sales over the last two years, up £46 million to £173 million in 2016, an increase of +37%,” Miles Beale, chief executive of WSTA, said.
“The trend is moving away from shots and strongly towards high quality, cocktail combinations and increasingly sophisticated sipping products. Additionally there is a growing popularity of craft cocktails being enjoyed in bars and then recreated in our homes.”
Sophie Bratt, assistant bar manager at Harvey Nichols, OXO Tower, pointed to an increasing willingness of bartenders to acknowledge the quality of agave spirits and include them in cocktails, replacing whisky and gin-based cocktails on lists.
Like most spirits, tequila can vary in quality.
It is the tequilas made from 100% agave which are being savoured and sipped like a rum or fine Scotch.
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