Premiumization of Tequila Giving Rise to New Trends in the Mezcal Market

The changing tastes and preferences of consumers have caught the attention of manufacturers, as they are aiming to diversify their offerings in organic and natural ingredients in food and beverages. Similarly, producers operating in the mezcal market are creating awareness regarding natural products, and that their types can offer rich variety in taste and flavor.

A well-established trend that is circulating in the mezcal market is that of premiumization. Although tequila is highly consumed as a shot form drink, stakeholders are creating awareness by communicating that tequila is a spirit that can be savored and sipped instead of being consumed in record time. Thus, global trends regarding tequila are being driven by the change in consumer behavior, who are shifting focus from a price-centric point of view to opting for super-premium and luxury-priced products.

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Likewise, the mezcal market is showing a significant rise in the demand for quality standard 100%-agave tequila. Premium product introductions by stakeholders have led to the on-boarding of new customers. Also, celebrity endorsements are helping leverage the product image of tequila by gaining a positive reputation and helps stakeholders sustain their business even during the price fluctuations of agave.

mezcal market infographic

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Younger Generation Basks in New Flavors and Craft Spirits in the Mezcal Market

Stakeholders are noticing a shift in the common misconception among consumers that tequila and mezcal are the same. As consumers are becoming more aware about the transparent labeling of ingredients, and are using smart technologies such as mobile apps that scan QR (quick response) codes to ensure the authenticity of a product, this shift in the perspective of consumers has led to awareness about how mezcal is produced with the help of a traditional method using in-ground pits, whereas, tequila is produced using a specialized procedure.

The mezcal market is currently valued at ~US$ 242 million, and is expected to grow at a healthy rate and be valued at ~US$ 738 million by 2027. After the rise in the demand for premium tequila, consumers are now turning towards the golden age of mezcal. The mezcal market has a strong presence in the U.S.; the U.S. mezcal market is estimated to experience high growth in the future. One of the reasons for the increasing demand for mezcal stems from the fact that, the younger generation is on the pry for authentic flavors and small batch spirits.

Since mezcal is slightly on the expensive side as compared to most other alcoholic drinks, bartenders in hotels, restaurants, and cafes are luring consumers by combining the newly introduced floral and delicate notes of mezcal with tequila to lower the price bracket. Thus, stakeholders can target luxury hotels, resto-bars, and cafes to boost the sales of mezcal and create a new identity for mezcal amongst the young generation as well as upmarket consumers.

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Mezcal Market: Stakeholders Invest in Sustainability for Ethical Production Process

The complex and smoky flavor of mezcal, which is a parent to the more popular tequila, is an obscure and hard-to-fetch liquor, which is driving demand from connoisseurs and the youth. Likewise, stakeholders are planning innovative product launches to maximize business out of the growing popularity of mezcal. However, the increased consumption of mezcal has led to a significant agave shortage, which is creating pressure on local farmers and mezcal producers to increase their production outputs.

Subsequently, stakeholders are evolving business operations right from the plantation of agave to the process of burning wood to intensify the smoky flavor of mezcal. Thus, ongoing efforts by stakeholders are marching towards the adoption of sustainable operations in the production of agave and the bottling of mezcal. Stakeholders are aiming to achieve the benchmark of hundred percent production of sustainable agave by collaborating with local farmers and producers to generate in-house seed banks, backed by continuous maintenance of the plantations and harvest.

Experts in the mezcal market landscape have suggested a restriction on harvesting wild agave, thus minimizing the strain on natural production. Also, reforestation initiatives will help fulfill the rising demand for timber, since the burning of wood to offer a smoky flavor to mezcal creates a strain on timber producers. Similarly, consumers are also becoming aware brands that incorporate sustainable operations, who are making huge investments in sustainability by incorporating comprehensive inventory systems to track agave supplies, and are increasing research & development to strategize on efficient waste management initiatives.

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