As tequila is one of the most popular spirits globally, its growth, particularly in North America, is where it really demands attention, according to CGA’s On Premise Measurement service (OPM). “Its popularity has grown significantly in recent years, with the category evolving to meet different tastes and preferences,” it says.

With vodka (26.6%) and whiskey (26.4%) topping the list of popular choices for consumers, tequila has managed to not only steal share from these top players, but also within other spirits categories. At 54%, tequila has notched the most volume growth in the latest 52 weeks versus a year ago, according to CGA’s analysis.

“As of the start of December 2021, tequila holds almost 16% of the spirit category sales in terms of volume, which has grown significantly since the end of 2016 when it held a volume share of 11.5%,” it states. “Silver tequila holds the greatest volume share (52%) within the category and grew at 57% in the latest 52 weeks.

“However, subcategories such as reposado (57% growth) and gold (49% growth) are also becoming increasingly popular with consumers,” it continues. “One subcategory that has demonstrated significant growth is añejo, increasing 61% over the last 52 weeks, highlighting that tequila drinkers’ tastes in the U.S. are expanding and evolving in a similar fashion to whiskey drinkers.”

Further, as “it is impossible to ignore the Margarita,” the popular cocktail has been instrumental to the tequila category’s expansion in the U.S. on premise and is the preferred choice of many consumers — with 49% of cocktail drinkers consuming it when out, according to CGA OPUS, fall 2021.

“Tequila is no doubt a popular choice for consumers. It is important over the next period to see how this preference evolves and changes,” stated Patrick Bannon, CGA client director for Americas. “It will be interesting to see whether the offering of different tequila types will expand further in outlet and tequila offerings will mirror that of whiskey. It’s crucial for suppliers and operators to understand where the different types will grow and what opportunities will present themselves in the on-premise.”