Mexican Tequila Takes Center StageMon, 04/01/2019 - 11:40
From food to gastronomy, Mexican culture is enjoying an upswing in popularity both at home and abroad, providing a significant opportunity for the country’s key spirit: tequila. “Mexico is experiencing a vibrant moment in major aspects, such as its gastronomy, design, culture and art. We thought this excitement needed to be transmitted to the tequila industry,” says Bertha González Nieves, Co-Founder and CEO of Casa Dragones.
Casa Dragones is a Mexican tequila distiller that specializes in the production of high-quality tequila, producing less than 500 cases per batch, generating product exclusivity. Although the company has been in the market for just over 10 years, in 2010 it became the first Mexican brand to be recognized by the prestigious “Grand Prix Strategies du Luxe,” which recognizes luxury brands globally.
The hype that has surrounded tequila and a growing appetite for high-quality products were key to Casa Dragones’ success. “We wanted to deliver a product that was completely unique in terms of taste, history and design. It was a matter of innovation and of delivering something different than what was offered in the tequila category,” says González. Tequila has grown so much in popularity that consumers now demand a wider variety with added value. “Consumers today want to interact with a complete repertoire. They fall in love with a category and want to learn from it and establish a relationship with the brands.”
Although Casa Dragones has played a significant role in positioning Mexico and tequila as a high-quality product in international markets, González says the company’s goal is to venture well beyond the positioning of a beverage. “We want to be part of the growth of the tequila industry and to showcase the image of a modern and professional Mexico that pays meticulous attention to detail.” Despite the boom tequila and agave distillates have enjoyed in foreign markets, González says Mexico remains a priority. “The Mexican market is the heart of what we are and what we do. It is important for us to have a significant presence in the country.”
González says the brand also has had very good reception in the US and that it has made significant advances in conquering the European market. “We like to think that Casa Dragones has had an important role in starting the conversation that surrounds tequila in Europe in countries like England, Spain, France, Greece and Italy.” It plans to continue strengthening its presence in the markets in which the brand already exists. “Japan and Australia are markets with interesting opportunities but it is important to continue consolidating our position where we already are,” González says.
Rather than focus its strategy on younger consumers, as other brands are doing, Casa Dragones works to attract the market segment that wants high-quality products. “We are focusing on attracting customers whose lifestyle is aligned to our product,” says González. “They are quality-seekers who look for brands that share their principles. This encompasses people of all ages.”
To further position its brand internationally, Casa Dragones employs a strategy of partnerships with restaurants, such as the recent opening of a Thomas Keller restaurant in New York that pairs a Casa Dragones tequila with its dishes. “We are trying to show that tequila has a place on the table of international cuisine. These are the types of partnerships and exchanges that we believe are the dynamic life of the company.” Gónzalez adds that the company also is focused on advancing the tequila tradition globally and the Denomination of Origin of agave distillates. “There are close to 200 different types of agave and only five Denominations of Origin for agave distillates. If we invest in infrastructure and education, there can be many more products with Denomination of Origin.”