Jose Cuervo is the world's top-selling tequila. Combined volumes were 7.3m cases in 2019, primarily in the US and Mexico. Impact estimated retail value of $1.18bn. Ultra-premium Gran Centenario tequila sold an additional 1.3m cases, worth $470m and super-premium 1800 another 1.4m cases at $430m. Cuervo also claims to be the world's oldest tequila, first produced by the Cuervo family in 1795 under royal warrant from the King of Spain. The main Cuervo Especial brand is accompanied by a growing collection of variants, including ready-to-drink cocktails and mixers. Although widely associated for many years with Diageo, which managed all distribution outside Mexico for more than a decade, Jose Cuervo has always been privately owned by the Beckmann family, descendants of the original Jose Cuervo. The alliance with Diageo had become increasingly fractious by 2012, with the Beckmanns repeatedly stonewalling attempts by Diageo to buy the business outright for as much as $2bn. As a result Diageo declined to renew its distribution contract when it expired in summer 2013. Instead North American distribution was absorbed by Proximo Spirits, a distributor also owned by the Beckmann family, and performance has improved significantly. The following year, Cuervo transferred ownership of its second-string tequila Don Julio to Diageo in return for the Bushmills Irish whiskey brand and payment to Diageo of $408m in cash. Bushmills - volumes of around 857k cases in 2019 - and Kraken rum are the group's next biggest sellers after its tequila brands. The group acquired Pendleton Canadian whisky in 2018; more recent additions include Hangar 1 American vodka and Irish whiskey The Sexton. Proximo also manages distribution for several third-party brands including British-made vodka Three Olives and Boodles gin. Juan Domingo Beckmann is the CEO of what is now umbrella group Becle. The group issued an enormously successful IPO of around 15% of equity in early 2017. Combined revenues for 2020 were around $1.6bn (P$35.0bn), with net income of approx $240m. The Cuervo brand alone accounted for 31% of revenues, and tequila in general for 47%, and the group is the undisputed global leader in the sector with around 30% global share. Total volumes across all brands were 23.7m cases in 2020, including 15.2m cases in the US and Canada, and 6.2m cases in Mexico. Former Brown-Forman executive Michael Keyes was named as CEO of Proximo Spirits in 2019.
Capsule checked 3rd December 2020
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Which agencies handle advertising for Jose Cuervo? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Advertising expenses for Becle / Jose Cuervo? See ranking of Declared Advertising Costs
Who are the competitors of Jose Cuervo? Cuervo's main competitors in tequila are Patron (Bacardi) and Sauza (Beam Suntory), the #2 and #3 sellers respectively. See Spirits & Wines index for other companies
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Mar 2017: Ads of the Week: "Last Days". Here's a true return to form for Crispin Porter & Bogusky, whose work we haven't found reason to feature in these pages very often for some time. This, though, for Jose Cuervo tequila, is a gem. Black humour, a dash of romance, fine direction and splendid effects. What more could you want from an ad? A big punchline to round it all off might have added a touch more oomph, but the overall package is very nice just as it comes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Nov 2014: Diageo admitted defeat in the Irish whiskey market but strengthened its position in tequila in a brand swap with former client Jose Cuervo. It has agreed to sell its sole Irish whiskey brand Bushmills - a distant #2 to Pernod-Ricard's all-conquering Jameson - to Casa Cuervo in part-exchange for the latter's second-string brand Don Julio and $408m in cash. Until last year, Diageo distributed both Don Julio and its much larger stablemate Jose Cuervo under contract. Cuervo took back distribution duties for its lead brand but left Don Julio with Diageo. The deal allows Cuervo and distribution arm Proximo Spirits to further widen their portfolio of non-tequila spirits.
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