Bacardi buys Ilegal to capture premium mezcal market

By: Trademagazin editor Date: 2023. 09. 26. 09:28

The liquor giant’s acquisition of the beverage brand comes amid growing interest in premium agave-based spirits.

Bacardi Limited announced it is now the sole owner of Ilegal Mezcal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is the beverage company’s only mezcal brand, and builds upon the partnership it began with the brand in 2015.

Bacardi, known primarily for its namesake rum, is leveraging its expertise in the alcohol space to satisfy growing desire for premium offerings across different spirits categories.

Ilegal touts itself as an artisanal and sustainably produced mezcal, created using ripe agave in the Oaxaca region of Mexico, without any artificial flavors or additives. It was founded in 2006 by John Rexer, who said he aims to protect the environment and improve the local culture of the town it is produced in.

Ilegal has the credentials to dominate the premium mezcal space in the coming years as consumer interest in the beverage grows, Barry Kabalkin, Bacardi’s vice chairman, said in a statement.

The super-premium mezcal category is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% over the next five years, according to IWSR data cited by Bacardi.

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