Earlier this decade, industry observers predicted big things ahead for tequila consumption in the United States. As of this week, things look a little different — though, as with many things in the world of alcohol, your vantage point can make a big difference in how you interpret the numbers. Writing at VinePair, Hannah Staab noted that Mexico’s exports of tequila dropped in 2023. It’s the first time that figure has dropped since 2009.
On one hand, that seems to be par for the course for the industry as a whole: consider the reports last year that French winemakers were destroying surplus wine. There’s an argument to be made that people’s tastes are simply changing — and that younger consumers are less enticed by booze at all
A closer look at the statistics from Mexico’s Consejo Regulador del Tequila (CRT) offers a more complicated story than it initially seems. For instance, the total volume of tequila exported in 2023 is down from 2022 — but it’s still larger than any other year from 2021 and before. The total value of the tequila in question is actually up from 2022, although it’s lower than the figure cited for 2021.
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Staab’s analysis at VinePair offers some additional details, including the continuing growth of premium tequilas and a comparison between the drop of tequila exports to the U.S. and growth in the amount of tequila exported to the U.K. and France. It’ll be interesting to see if this year’s figures represent a leveling off of tequila’s growth — or if they’re more of a bump in the road.
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