Diageo looks to premium Tequila with Don Julio 1942 Heathrow pop-up

By Kristiane Sherry |

Don Julio 1942 Diageo pop-up is launching the brand into GTR

Don Julio is entering travel retail with a bang at its Heathrow T5 pop-up.

Diageo Global Travel (GT) has unveiled a “high tempo” pop-up at Heathrow Terminal 5 for its Don Julio 1942 Tequila as it seeks to drive the “important category” in the channel.

Speaking at the launch yesterday [3 Aug] attended by TRBusiness, Andrew Cowan, Diageo GT Managing Director, confirmed that Tequila was now worth the same as vodka for the global drinks group.

“Today Diageo is the biggest Tequila operator in the world,” he said, as the pop-up was unveiled. “Ten years ago, we didn’t participate in Tequila at all.”

He continued: “Vodka, with Smirnoff, Cîroc, has been a cornerstone of the Diageo business for many, many years. So for Tequila, headed up by Don Julio, to make such rapid progress shows how important and what a big opportunity that brand is for us. 

“The reason we’re taking Tequila into the global travel environment is all of that scale. I talk about one and a half billion pounds worth of turnover, is still a relatively regional brand,” he said.

“What we want to do in global travel is to internationalise tequila and offer it to the rest of the world. And what better place to do it than the airport environments.”

Don Julio 1942 Heathrow pop-up: Soundtracking summer

The pop-up itself heroes Don Julio 1942 in a sleek space that echoes the brand cues of the bottle.

An agave lead-shaped archway invites passengers into the space, with vivid bottle displays set in slatted amber, bronze and gold shelving.

A tasting bar – turned into a DJ table for the launch – offers signature serve sampling opportunities for passengers travelling through the airport.

Heathrow was selected to target passengers travelling to European party destinations, including Ibiza and Mykonos. 

Don Julio 1942 pop-up with the Diageo team

L-R: Diageo GT MD Andrew Cowan, Dj and producer Kayper, Global Head of Don Julio, Kevin Nichols

Renowned New York-based DJ and producer Kayper has created a playlist, accessible via QR code, to soundtrack passengers’ summers while they try the Tequila. ‘Tequila Don Julio 1942 Iconic Sounds of Summer’ is available to stream on Spotify now.  

She performed a set based on the playlist live at the launch of the space. 

In addition, Don Julio teamed up with lifestyle creator Ashlee Major-Moss to release an online Ibiza travel guide featuring DJ sets, restaurant recommendations, and “Insta-worthy” locations. 

The modular stand will be transported for a further roll-out at locations across APAC, Dubai and India.

The ‘finer things in life’

Cowan added: “We are delighted to bring an icon of luxury tequila and a brand synonymous with special celebrations to travel retail in Europe this summer. 

“Tequila Don Julio 1942 will be available to purchase in travel retail stores throughout Europe from this summer for the first time. It’s an incredibly exciting time for this category. 

“Our luxurious temporary experience in T5, we hope will give travellers just a taste and glimpse of what this brand has to offer. 

Don Julio 1942 and Diageo tasked Kayper with making a playlist

Passengers can discover Kayper’s Spotify playlist via QR code.

“It is a truly exceptional liquid created by Don Julio González in 2002 in the heart of Jalisco Mexico to mark 60 years of generational tequila-making. Its heritage and craft speak for itself.”

Kevin Nichols, Global Head Tequila Don Julio 1942 – Luxury Portfolio and Experiential, commented: “Tequila Don Julio 1942 is a testament to our founder’s passion and love for the agave plant. 

“It is an invitation to savour the finer things in life and share unforgettable moments with those who appreciate the extraordinary.

“1942 is painstakingly crafted using only the finest Blue Weber agave plants – hand-selected and harvested – and aged in American oak barrels for at least two and a half years to develop its rich, distinctive taste. 

“The result? A sweet and smooth sip with characterful flavours of oak, vanilla and agave teamed with vibrant notes of caramel and chocolate. 

“If you could bottle the spirit of the season, this would be it – its warming aftertaste recalls the lazy days and heady nights of summer.”

Diageo Don Julio 1942 LHR stand

The stand design is based on the shapes of the agave plant.

Eve Fifer, Commercial Director for the UK at World Duty Free, said: “We are proud to have been able to work closely with our partners at Diageo Global Travel once again, to deliver this luxurious pop-up which really brings this iconic brand to life.” 

Fraser Brown, Retail Director at Heathrow Airport, added: “I am delighted our passengers can explore the iconic world of Tequila Don Julio 1942 to kick off their summer celebrations in luxury. 

“We are committed to offering our shoppers these unique experiences whilst also educating them on responsible drinking, to ensure everyone has a great journey through Heathrow.”

Tequila Don Julio 1942 is available across airports in Europe and the Americas from August 2023, bottled at 38% ABV and priced at RRP £178 per 70cl bottle. 

Earlier this year, Gebr. Heinemann told TRBusiness that Tequila ranked third in terms of market share, behind whisky and gin.

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