Shopping for just the right bottle of tequila can be overwhelming. Do you have trouble knowing how to buy tequila with over 1300 different types on the market? Do you want some insider tips to buying tequila in a liquor store?
Understand these 6 insider tips about tequila placement and marketing and you will navigate the liquor store shelves with ease and confidence.
I wish that liquor stores would place the bottles in alphabetical order or even NOM (the number and name of the distillery) order. However, they don’t, and here is why.
It’s all about effective marketing
and product placement and profit.
If you don’t spend a lot of time studying the shelves in a liquor store, we have your back. Robb and I spend quality time together cruising the big box stores and the smaller local digs, looking for those special bottles of tequila. When you find that elusive bottle, sitting alone and dusty, it feels like hitting the jackpot on a slot machine!
So take a walk with us for just a moment, and let us give you the 411 on product placement. Learn these 6 insider tips to buying tequila within the spirits industry and you will know how to shop like a pro.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: Eye-Level Placement
The first place you look is eye level, of course. The tequilas you find in your sight line will usually be the most popular, and the tequilas that are widely distributed in the US. These are the brands that are familiar to you, and they are also the ones that the distributor and store want you to buy. Many times the supplier pays the store for that perfect shelf placement.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: What’s on the Bottom Shelf
Notice the bottles on the bottom shelf. Typically, these tequilas are the cheapest ones on the market, and you might even find “handles” on this shelf. Handles are normally double the size of a regular bottle, almost 1/2 a gallon. However, the bottom shelf is definitely worth the look because sometimes you can find that hidden gem hanging out right there on the down low.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: The Golden Shelf
Between eye level and the bottom shelf is the golden shelf. These are the bottles that we are looking to purchase. Take extra care when shopping on this shelf. Unlike the popular brands on the eye level shelf, there will be fewer bottles available. These are from smaller production distilleries which many times are the ones that produce the best tequila using sustainable and best practices in their manufacturing process.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: Top Shelf
Now, direct your eyes to the top 2 or 3 shelves. Here you will find the fancier bottles. Hand-blown bottles, character bottles, and artistic bottles rest on this shelf. You might find a 6-shooter revolver, a Calavera skull bottle, or other novelty bottles. These are fun bottles to have in your home or give as a gift. However, they are not always quality tequila. In other words, buy carefully. Fancy bottle doesn’t mean fancy tequila.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: Bulk Pricing and Brand Exclusivity
Many stores partner or contract with larger distilleries to buy in bulk. This can result in several different ways the tequila is marketed. If the store buys a massive amount of a particular brand at a heavily discounted price you will notice a shelf full of a specific name. The clerk will always point you to these tequilas as these spirits are more profitable for the store.
Some stores have their own private label brand as well. This can be very good tequila and some not so much. You have to investigate a little about where the tequila is produced via the NOM.
You may also see exclusive packaging which is designed just for that reason to make you feel like you are buying something special and willing to pay extra for it. In fact, the store bought it in bulk for a cheaper price to get the exclusive branding so they can increase their profit margin.
Insider Tip to Buying Tequila: The Show Case
Finally, feast your eyes on the locked glass case. Ah, the most expensive tequilas are carefully displayed here or high on the shelf behind the register. Buyer beware, though; pricey does not always equal quality well-made tequila. Again, do your homework before buying a $150 bottle of sugar water.
Now that you know the 6 insider tips to buying tequila by taking the shelving and placement tour, you will feel more confident in your buying decisions. Spirit shopping is not much different than grocery shopping. Familiarize yourself with what the labels mean and read them, be informed, and continue making better tequila decisions.
If these insider tips to buying tequila still leave you not quite sure which bottle to buy, we have put together a list of our favorite brands. It may take a little looking to find some of these tequilas, but you will not be disappointed. Download our Best Tequilas to Buy list for FREE, right here.
Salud! Our Friends! Happy sipping!