Canelo Álvarez takes Tequila cocktails to US

by Nicola Carruthers

Spirit of Gallo has partnered with Casa Lumbre and Mexican boxer Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez to bring Tequila-based canned cocktail brand VMC to the US.

VMC, which stands for ‘Viva Mexico Cabrones’ to celebrate pride and celebration, was initially launched in Mexico in 2022. Made with Blue agave grown in Jalisco, Mexico, the VMC range is available in three 5.5% ABV cocktails: Paloma, Jamaica Hibiscus Cocktail, and Margarita. The product was created by Mexican spirits group Casa Lumbre, known for producing Ojo de Tigre mezcal, Contrazul mezcal, Abasolo whisky, and Nocheluna sotol. VMC is described as the first canned cocktail aimed primarily at the Mexican audience in the US. E&J Gallo’s dedicated spirits arm will distribute VMC in select US markets with Mexican-American populations. Spirit of Gallo said the Hispanic population is the second largest in the US as well as the fastest-growing demographic. "VMC was created and first launched in Mexico led by our partners at Casa Lumbre, and it was a huge success among Canelo's fans," said Britt West, senior vice-president and general manager of Spirit of Gallo. "We are confident that VMC will capture the hearts and palates of Mexican and Mexican-American consumers in the United States." Born in Guadalajara and raised in rural Jalisco, professional boxer Álvarez was inspired to create VMC in honour of his 'shared heritage' with Tequila. "Today a dream comes to fruition, demonstrating that we are unique and ready to celebrate with the strength that unites us," said Álvarez. Citing IWSR 2023 data, West said Tequila was the third-largest and fastest-growing spirits category in the US. "Pre-mixed cocktails and flavoured alcohol beverages are driving growth in the market, each up [by] 14%,” West continued, referencing NABCA and IRI off-trade data for the 12 weeks to 9 July 2023. “So, consumers are looking for canned cocktails and full-flavour styles, but until now there hasn't been an authentic Mexican offering in this category. VMC is here to change that." VMC will be available in the US from September, sold in four packs of 355ml cans for RRP US$10.99.

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