Bacardi homes in on Tequila potential with Experiencia Patrón bar concept

By Kristiane Sherry |

Patrón has opened a dedicated brand and cocktail space at Cancun Airport

Bacardi has opened an agave-inspired stand-alone bar space called Experiencia Patrón at Cancun Airport as a showcase for its ambitious intentions for the brand in global travel retail.

Situated outside the main Dufry store until December 2024, the space is designed to engage American consumers with a multi-layered omnichannel experience.

Patrón is engaging with passengers before they even travel with pre-airport messaging including Cancun travel guides. Out-of-home (OOH) advertising throughout the traveller journey also supports the space.

The Experiencia Patrón bar is described as an “elevated homage” to the production process behind the brand, which is the Tequila market leader in GTR, according to 2021 IWSR figures.

The latticework structure housing the bar has been inspired by the shape and texture of the piña agave plant. As well as signifying Tequila’s raw material, stone textures create a ‘driveway’ in front of the pop-up. Inviting agave and hedge planters around the space welcome passengers. 

Travellers can choose from the Patrón Paloma, Patrón Margarita and Patrón Old Fashioned cocktails, and are encouraged to go into the Dufry store to purchase the range.

The Patrón assortment available at the airport includes recent launch Patrón en Lalique: Serie 3, a blend of rare extra-añejo Tequilas.

The release is housed in a crystal decanter by Lalique Artistic and Creative Director Marc Larminaux, which is itself a creative interpretation of the agave plant.

Master distiller David Rodriguez and his team blended together the long-aged Tequilas, resulting in a liquid so rare it will never be replicated.

Patrón en Lalique: Serie 3 is an incredibly rare blend of extra añejo Tequila

14 different parcels, aged for up to eight years in French and American casks, were hand-selected for the recipe, which is said to offer notes of spices, dried fruits, sherry wine and intense wood.

In addition to Experiencia Patrón at Cancun, Patrón en Lalique: Serie 3 is also available at International Shoppes stores in JFK T8, T5 and T1.

‘Packed flights’ as recovery continues

Bacardi is striking an optimistic tone ahead of the IAADFS Summit of the Americas, where Patrón will be a key focus.

“Across the region there is growth,” said Geoff Biggs, Regional Director GTR Americas, Bacardi, on recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.   

“In Mexico it is driven by the ease of access for US travellers and we expect business to return to 2019 levels this year.  

“In Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, flights are packed, consumers are excited to be travelling again and we are growing market share across our portfolio, especially driven by the relevance of our brands in the passion for home mixology and from on-premise trends in domestic markets.  

“For many of these markets, although inflation continues to be an issue, volatility in exchange rates is nothing new and consumer confidence, especially amongst high net worth individuals, remains high as there is clear pent-up demand for premium spirits.

Patrón’s full range is available to shoppers at Cancun Airport with Dufry

“Finally, in Cruise, with several new ship launches in 2023, there is increasing opportunity for us to run our popular onboard engagement programmes.  

“We have a strong pipeline of innovation coming to market in 2023/24, across the portfolio including more prestige releases from Patrón Tequila. 

“We are also adding to the extensive Bacardí rum portfolio with an increased focus on premium and sipping aged rums to offer as an alternative to other categories, notably for consumers who are choosing to drink less but drink better.”

Late last year, Bacardi GTR unveiled its first Fine Spirits Emporium at CDF Haikou International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Hainan, China, as it taps into the growing popularity of cocktails in China.

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