US: Acquisitive Patrón to move into vodka, gin
The Patrón Spirits Company, best known for its namesake premium Tequila, looks set to move into the wider white spirits category with the acquisition of a vodka and a gin brand.
The independent US-based company is hoping to snap up the vodka in the coming weeks. "We are in acquisition mode and we are eyeing a gin and a vodka," Patrón COO John McDonnell told just-drinks today (21 November), although he declined to name the targets. He added that he hoped to secure the vodka acquisition by 1 January.
Patrón, set up in Las Vegas in 1989, dominates the booming super-premium Tequila category in the US, where it sells 1m cases, or around 70% of the segment. Patrón's strength among luxury Tequilas has led it to command around 4% of the total Tequila market in the US.
The company is looking to boost its presence worldwide and has secured distribution in 40 markets. McDonnell said the company had last week struck a distribution deal with Brown-Forman for the Taiwanese market.
"Taiwan is the most fickle market on the entire planet, that's why some multinational brands that succeeded there previously have since declined significantly. In 1996/97, for example, over 1m cases of Japanese whisky were sold in Taiwan - now that's down to fewer than 50,000 cases. Also, younger generations do not want to drink what their parents drank."
Taiwanese demand for white spirits, however, is growing, according to McDonnell. "Taiwan will be a Tequila market, there is no other ultra-premium Tequila in the market and Patrón is positioned perfectly for the place."
McDonnell called Brown-Forman the "ideal partner" for the Taiwanese market. He added: "They've done a brilliant job with Jack Daniel's in that market and they have an ultra-premium Bourbon - Woodford Reserve - which means Patrón will fit nicely into their portfolio."
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