Marketing Tequila for Women

T Updated

Marketer Betting That For Women, Tequila Is The New Vodka

by Sarah Mahoney, Tuesday, for Marketing Daily

IN THE BLACK BEVERAGE CORP. (ITBBC) is betting it can help young women shake off all the unfortunate tequila moments of their past and embrace the agave-based beverage as the other white liquor. With the $3 million launch of Inocente, the company plans to position tequila as an upscale alternative to vodka for women ages 21 to 34.

"Tequila has always been marketed as this bastion of maleness," says Bruce Rekant, president of ITBBC. "But our research found that 49% of tequila drinkers are women, who are totally ignored by tequila marketers." So Inocente, sold in a "sexy bottle that looks like a vase," will be marketed like an upscale fashion or fragrance brand, he says, using out-of-home ads located outside strategic stores, such as Dolce & Gabbana.

He estimates that women probably consume between 75 and 80% of their tequila in mixed, margarita-like drinks, "but there are plenty of young, affluent women out there doing tequila shots, too. It's just a fun, celebratory drink." Inocente is all natural--hence the name--and triple-distilled, which makes it smoother.

Tequila consumption has more than doubled in the last five years, with sales topping 9 million cases in 2006, he says; the high end of the market is growing more quickly.

If you're wondering just how many upscale club gals will warm up to a beverage famous for its association with dead worms and the frat boys who eat them, relax. Turns out the worm is only in bottles of mescal, a much stronger drink, also made from the agave plant. While there are many beverages made from agave plants (which is actually a lily, Rekant says, and not a cactus), tequila may only be made from blue agave plants grown in a certain area of Mexico.

Depending on whose story you believe, Rekant says, the worm idea was either invented by a clever marketer or as a demonstration of quality--the idea is that the high proof of mescal should be enough to kill and preserve the worm.

"We think we can win back the women who swore off the stuff back in college, and I believe tequila can grow as fast as vodka," he says. Depending on the success of Inocente, Rekant isn't ruling out a ladies' mezcal, either; he says the company is also considering introducing special gins and flavored sake.

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account