UK spirits giant Diageo will invest $US500 million to expand its tequila production center located in the Jalisco municipality of Atotonilco El Alto and build one new distillery in La Barca, generating more than 1,000 direct jobs for Jalisco, company executives and Governor Enrique Alfaro announced at a press conference.
“This exciting investment in Mexico will support our future category growth to meet Mexican and international demand. It will also allow us to continue surprising and delighting consumers with our amazing tequila portfolio,” said Álvaro Cárdenas, president of the Latin America and Caribbean section of Diageo.
Diageo acquired full ownership of the Don Julio brand in June 2017, when it also purchased Casamigos – a super-premium tequila, launched in 2013 by actor George Clooney. Net sales of Diageo’s tequila range grew 79 percent in 2021, noted Cárdenas.
Premium brands in Diageo’s extensive portfolio include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, Smirnoff, Captian Morgan and Bailey’s, among others.
Álvaro expressed the “love” his company has “for taking a little piece of Mexico to the world,” and “the emotion it gives us seeing bottles of tequila from a brand as beautiful as Don Julio in restaurants in Asia, Europe, Africa and the United States.”
Álvaro said construction of the new facilities will start this year. Great care will be taken to use environmentally friendly technologies, he said, applauding the recent initiative aimed at making tequila a 100-percent deforestation-free product (see story left).
Jon Benjamin, the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Mexico, highlighted the strong relationship between Jalisco and the U.K, encompassing not only trade but also climate change initiatives.