Coca-Cola isn't the only internationally recognized beverage brand that's ending production on some of its drinks. What's arguably the world's best known tequila brand has revealed it's canceling one of its blends, and the decision seems to make some sense—still, it sounds like fans of this drink may be already mourning.
This week, The Grocer reported that Bacardi—which bought Patrón in 2018—will soon no longer make Patrón XO Cafe. The brand has promoted the coffee-flavored liqueur as being "excellent for sipping, in cocktails or as a dessert ingredient," though The Grocer suggests it also gained fame as a popular shooter, particularly in U.K. pubs. (After all, what better way to keep the night going than with a caffeine fix? "What shots are we going to do in da club now?!?!" asked our colleagues at Delish, adding, "To say we're gutted would be an understatement.")
The Grocer also notes that U.K. sales of Patrón XO Cafe nearly quadrupled in the first year of the pandemic—a period when consumers craved adventurous drinks but couldn't rely on restaurants to serve them.
The Grocer spoke with Patrón Tequila president and COO, Mauricio Vergara, who said the decision to halt production of Patrón XO Cafe is due to the company's recalibrated strategy to concentrate on "production and supply of our core super and ultra-premium tequilas," which our source says includes Patrón Silver, Patrón Reposado, Patrón Añejo and others. Vergara said going forward, this is the Patrón brand's "top priority."
The report notes how this discontinuation decision doesn't indicate that tequila sales are down. In fact, Vergara stated that tequila is "the second fastest-growing category in value across the globe." (Though this data point could use further context, as based on the report, it's not clear whether this statistic is true for alcohol, all beverages, or all groceries in general.)
In any case, if it's so exciting for some sippers… then why not just keep Patrón XO Cafe flowing? A beverage industry source told The Grocer that Bacardi and Patrón probably just had a hard time positioning the drink in the market for consumers to instantly understand what it actually is. "Because it's not obvious to the consumer what [the drink] is, it will take a lot [of] investment to scale," the individual said. "Without scale it'll be a very small profit contributor and not worth the effort."
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