Why Are There So Many Celebrity Tequila Brands?
From The Rock to George Clooney, LeBron James to Kendall Jenner, and even Guy Fieri, it seems like everyone wants a piece of the tequila pie. Tequila sales worldwide have grown 6% every single year since 2002, reaching an over $4 billion industry in 2020. George Clooney sold his brand, Casamigos, for over $1 billion a couple of years ago. Showing the massive earning potential in this industry and kickstarting this craze. Celebrity tequila is trying to capitalize on that insane growth.
However, I must say that the quality of the product in these celebrity tequila bottles is not as good as other tequilas out there. With a lot of them being guilty of using additives in their products. While some might accuse me of being a hater for trashing almost every single one of these tequilas on my TikTok and YouTube, the problem runs much deeper than just personal dislike for certain celebrities.
Problems With Celebrity Tequila
One major issue with celebrity tequila is cultural appropriation. Take Kendall Jenner, for example, who received backlash for promoting her 818 tequila with a tone-deaf commercial featuring her wearing traditional Mexican clothes. Many argue that she was appropriating Mexican culture to sell her product, despite not having any real connection or ties to the country beyond wanting to make a quick buck from the agave plant.
Connection to Mexico
Additionally, most celebrity-backed brands have almost no connection or ties to Mexico beyond rolling up to one of the few distilleries that make almost all of the celebrity tequila, picking a barrel that slightly tastes different than the other barrel, slapping their name and logo on it, and then selling it at a high premium price to make money off of it.
This not only takes money out of the Mexican economy but also directly contributes to a whole host of other issues in the agave industry, including deforestation and wildlife disturbance. The demand for celebrity tequila has put intense pressure on the industry. It has prompted tequila producers to produce more tequila faster and to make more tequila. To make more tequila they need more farmland, which leads to more deforestation.
Rising Cost of Agave
Furthermore, the pressure to create more tequila has caused a skyrocket in the price of agave. It takes about eight or nine years for agave plants to fully mature before they can be cultivated and turned into tequila. This lengthy and labor-intensive process has been put under immense pressure due to the influx of celebrity brands into the market.
In conclusion, while celebrity tequila might be more accessible and popular than ever before, it comes at a cost to both the Mexican heritage and culture, as well as the environment. While it’s understandable that celebrities want to make money, it’s important to ensure that their product is not only of high quality but also produced in a sustainable and ethical way.