Patrons CMO, Lee Applbaum, said he welcomes new brands into Tequila

Patron's CMO, Lee Applbaum, said he welcomes new brands into Tequila

Patrón's marketing head has said an influx of "opportunistic" Tequila brands using inferior agave is hurting the category.

Speaking to just-drinks yesterday, Lee Applbaum said he welcomed new arrivals committed to making artisanal Tequila because they can help further grow the consumer base. However, he said some brands are cutting corners "to turn out product faster and cheaper".

"The problem is there are a lot of brands that are very opportunistic," Applbaum said. "Throw a name on it, outsource the Tequila - and that does no good for the category. They are just trying to harvest share and they are producing an inferior product."

Applbaum said Patrón launched its Know Your NOM website and app in October last year in direct response to the increasingly crowded Tequila market in the US. 

Know Your NOM gives consumers the ability to trace any bottle of Tequila back to its producer in Mexico. NOM stands for Norma Oficial Mexicana and a NOM number is required on every bottle of Tequila authentically produced and bottled in Mexico.

"As consumers, we're wary of being lied to," Applbaum said. "There is a way to objectively validate that."

Applbaum also said there are now about 1,300 Tequila brands but only about 120 distilleries in Mexico's Tequila region. "You do the simple math," he added.

The marketing head was speaking in London at the launch of the Art of Patrón, a new European series of live events featuring local artistic talent. Patrón has upped its focus on London over the past year as it looks to emulate its US success in other developed markets.

"London is one of those trend-leading cities in the world, whether its fashion, automotive, lifestyles, or spirits," Applbaum said. "And the UK is a gateway to Western Europe. Equally powerful is what it says about the global nature of the brand if you build it successfully in London."

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