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Jose Cuervo appoints UK’s first ‘salt sommelier’ 


Tequila brand Jose Cuervo has appointed its first ‘salt sommelier’ for the UK market ahead of National Margarita Day on 22 February.

Bartender and drinks consultant Max Venning was tasked with finding the ‘finest salts’ across the nation to create three Jose Cuervo Tradicional-based Margarita cocktails. 

He sought to understand how different regional varieties of salt impact the flavour of Cuervo Margaritas, travelling to the British salt hubs of Anglesey, Isle of Skye and Maldon. 

“A lot of people don’t realise the versatility salt can have in enhancing recipes and bringing out the subtlest of flavours,” said Venning. “As the UK’s founding salt sommelier, it’s my mission to change this and to travel the nation to create the best tasting Margarita with a perfectly paired salt.” 

Venning found that The Classic Cuervo Margarita is best paired with the salts of Halen Mon in Anglesey, Wales; The Cuervo Nettle Margarita suits salts from the Isle of Skye, Scotland; and The Cuervo Passion Fruit Margarita partners well with Maldon salt, from Essex.

Trump’s travel ban ‘inevitably negative’ for US TR 

*This article was first published in the March 2017 edition of The Spirits Business

How will the Trump administration’s clampdown on foreign travellers to the US affect the Americas’ duty free and travel retail sector? The Spirits Businessinvestigates.

While multifaceted in its make-up, the Americas duty free channel has not been immune from the challenges facing global travel retail in recent years. In 2015, sales in the region – from Canada, through the Caribbean to the tip of Chile – fell by 3.8% to US$11.3bn, according to Generation Research. 

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The Global Travel Retail Spirits Masters Competition  

In September 2017 The Spirits Business will stage The Global Travel Retail Spirits Masters competition in a drive to find and reward the finest global travel retail spirits brands on the world stage. Chaired by The Spirits Business and a panel of leading spirits specialists, the travel retail spirits will be judged in a blind tasting to discover the Travel Retail Spirits Masters of 2017. Excellence will be recognised by category, age and design and packaging

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Price increases hit Jose Cuervo Q2 sales 

TSB- Mexico-based drinks group Jose Cuervo has reported an 8.1% net sales decline in its 2017 second quarter, caused by the company’s January price increases.

The Tequila-maker reported its net sales had fallen to 6,924 million pesos (about $US38m) compared to the same period in 2016. 

While price increases negatively impacted Jose Cuervo’s sales and volumes, the action – along with inventory transfers from Mexico to the US and a favourable product mix – boosted gross profit by 4.3% to 7,960 million pesos (US$44m). 

In terms of brands, Jose Cuervo accounted for 39.5% of total net sales with a 2.1% decrease compared to the same period in 2016. 

The company’s other Tequila brands represented 19.6% of total net sales, and witnessed a 1% increase in Q2. 

Other spirits brands, including Irish whiskey brand Bushmills, represented 16.9% of total net sales, with a 12.6% decrease. 

Net sales in the US and Canada fell by 12.2%, with the region representing 73.4% of total sales. According to Jose Cuervo, sales fell due to the impact to volumes of the January price increases, which were partially offset by favourable effect of foreign exchange. 

Net sales in Mexico, which represents 15.3% of total sales, increased by 7.2%. Sales in the rest of the world increased by 2.7%. 

“Sales volumes continued to be pressured by the impact of the January price increase,” the company said in a statement. 

“However, strong volumes in Mexico, along with a favourable gross margin and spending levels on target with plan drove an 18.2% increase in EBITDA during the second quarter. We remain confident with our growth plan and opportunities for 2017.”