August 5 2023  |  Airlines & Airports

On location: Diageo Global Travel cites premiumization trend driver for Tequila Don Julio 1942 pop-up at London Heathrow T5

By Alison Farrington in London, UK

From left: Eve Fifer, Commercial Director for the UK at World Duty Free; Kevin Nichols, Global Head Tequila Don Julio 1942 - Luxury Portfolio and Experiential at Diageo; Nico Wyckaert, Head of Marketing White Spirits, Diageo Global Travel; Kayper; Andrew Cowan, Managing Director of Global Travel Retail; Nancy Stewart, Heathrow Head of Category Duty Free, Luxury and High Street and Fraser Brown, Retail Director at Heathrow Airport

To mark the launch of Tequila Don Julio 1942 in European travel retail, Diageo Global Travel has partnered with World Duty Free for a luxury-positioned pop-up at London Heathrow Terminal 5, which opened today, August 3, 2023.

The showcase brand activation targets jet-set passengers traveling through the airport’s T5 as they head of to Europe’s ‘hottest party destinations’ such as Ibiza and Mykonos. To kick off the celebratory mood for the Don Julio 1942 launch at Heathrow T5, Diageo partnered with renowned DJ and music producer Kayper who has created a summer playlist (Tequila Don Julio 1942 Iconic Sounds of Summer) that passengers and brand fans can discover at the pop-up via a QR code that enables an instant download. DJ Kayper was present for an hour long lunchtime set to launch the pop-up.

"We are delighted to bring an icon of luxury tequila and a brand synonymous with special celebrations to travel retail in Europe this summer,” said Andrew Cowan, Managing Director, Diageo Global Travel.

“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 travelers just a taste and glimpse of what this brand has to offer. 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,” said Cowan.

Discussing the growing consumer trend for tequila, Cowan said: “We’ve really seen our tequila business ramping up over the last couple of years, as the drink has gained popularity in key US cities and our sales first doubled then tripled. Tequila is now as important to Diageo as our vodka portfolio, in terms of growth potential. We want to internationalize tequila, and Global Travel has a key role; it’s the vehicle to grow into new markets.

“There will be iterations of this Don Julio 1942 brand activation. The London Heathrow launch is a statement piece – we feel the UK market is very important and is testament to our expansion plans into Europe. But we also see pop-ups in APAC, India, Dubai and Hainan. As well as doubling down on the Americas.

Don Julio 1942 is the pinnacle of Diageo’s premiumization strategy for the tequila category, explained Cowan. “Consumers want exclusives or things they can’t get anywhere else – that’s why we believe Don Julio 1942 is capturing the best opportunity for appealing to discerning tequila drinkers. The London Heathrow T5 pop-up is a bullseye for what we’re trying to do in Global Travel,” he said.

“We will market the full Don Julio range of tequilas with the focus on Don Julio 1942 – the other products are also available in store. We want the customer’s aspiration to be about 1942, the luxury product where taste and profile make a real statement – and that’s reflected in the high-end destination pop-up experience. £180 (US$229) is nicely premium but it’s not out of reach for recruiting tequila drinkers,” said Cowan.

Kevin Nichols, Global Head Tequila Don Julio 1942 - Luxury Portfolio and Experiential at Diageo, added: “Tequila Don Julio 1942 is a testament to our founder's passion and love for the agave plant. It is an invitation to savor 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 flavors 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.”

The focal piece of the new Tequila Don Julio 1942 pop-up is an agave leaf inspired archway enticing passengers into the luxurious world of monumental celebration. Passengers can sip a Tequila Don Julio 1942 signature serve at an elegant bar surrounded by a vivid bottle display on slatted shelving bathed in gorgeous tones of amber bronze metallic and gold.

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.”

To complement the launch of Don Julio 1942 in the UK, Diageo Global Travel has partnered with travel and lifestyle creator Ashlee Major-Moss to create a bespoke online summer guide. Major-Moss’s guide explores everything from unforgettable DJ sets to must-visit restaurant and luxury bar recommendations (where Don Julio 1942 is available, naturally) and where to find the most Insta-worthy locations that Ibiza has to offer.

Global Travel Retail Magazine's Senior Editor Alison Farrington with DJ Kayper during her lunchtime set to launch the pop-up

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