Hollywood has been entering the tequila industry in Mexico.
Tequila is a Denomination of Origin product, meaning that it’s exclusively produced mainly in Jalisco, Mexico. Over 500 years, the drink has evolved from the first distillation process introduced by the Spaniards during the conquest to American college kids making it their drink of choice for their spring break vacation. In 2021, 288M liters of tequila were exported into the US. In the last four years, 700 new tequila brands have been registered to satiate the US’s tequila thirst.
Most notably, there has been a wave of brands started by super-famous celebrities. One of the first instances of this trend came from legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, who in 1997 became part owner of Casa Noble. Santana is from Jalisco, so the business move was a great fit. Since then, athletes and Hollywood celebrities, who have little to do with Mexican culture, have started their own brands — a venture that, in some cases, earns them more than their careers, but that’s criticized as cultural appropriation by some. The most notable names include:
- George Clooney’s Casamigos
- Michael Jordan’s Cincoro
- The Rock’s Teremana
- Kendall Jenner’s 818
Two of the most successful have been Clooney’s and The Rock’s, now selling close to the amounts of heavy hitters like El Jimador and Don Julio. George Clooney sold his brand for $1B to spirits company Diageo, contingent on hitting 1M sold cases, a goal that has long been passed. The tequila sold over 2M cases just last year. In 2021, Diageo reported a 115% sales increase for Casamigos, placing it above El Jimador’s total sales volume. Diageo also owns Don Julio, and its tequila drinks are far outpacing the growth of any of its other categories.
Teremana by the Rock has been the fastest growing brand and an instant success story, hitting an estimated 600K yearly cases sold in just two years after launching.
The Rock worked intimately with a family-owned distillery to launch his brand and familiarize himself with the tequila-making process. One must credit the López family’s genius for recognizing such an incredible opportunity; the Rock’s films have grossed an estimated $10B
. With 314M followers on Instagram, he’s one of the most monetizable superstars globally.