Kendall Worldwide: 818 Tequila Launches in UK, Eyes China
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Kendall Worldwide: 818 Tequila Launches in UK, Eyes Chinese Market

818 Tequila

818 Tequila has launched in the United Kingdom, the latest in a series of unprecedented moves that might represent change within the industry. (Photo: KendallJenner/Instagram)

Continuing on a path toward global expansion, Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila has just launched in the UK. The move represents big aspirations not only for Jenner but for the tequila industry at large.

“I can’t wait for people across the UK to experience the magic of 818 Tequila. We’re arriving in London just in time for the start of spring, and I know everyone will love our delicious Tequila when they try it,” said Jenner.

To Americans who’ve witnessed the dramatic rise of tequila over the past decade, expanding overseas might seem like a logical step. But the agave spirits market is a little more complicated abroad.

In 2022, the United States imported over 338 million liters of tequila from Mexico — more than 32 times that of the second biggest importer, Germany, and more than 66 times that of the United Kingdom.

Popular as the spirit may be in the US, few brands have found true success in bringing tequila to countries outside the Americas. But 818 is uniquely positioned to tackle that fledgling market given the international stardom of Kendall Jenner and the Kardashian brand.

Since launching in 2021, 818 has expanded its distribution to Canada, Dubai, the Caribbean, and most lucratively, China.

Commenting on the brand’s first-ever year of net-positive sales, 818 COO Mike Novy said in January that the growing Chinese market has become a critical foothold for 818’s expansion.

“We took a look at China, and for us specifically with 818, while the size of the Tequila market is certainly not something we’re completely ignoring, we are more interested in the consumer profile of where young, social, dynamic consumers live, work, eat, and enjoy, and we saw that opportunity in China,” Novy told Spirits Business. “And, we’ve really unlocked it.

Of course, 818’s success must also be attributed to marketing that has positioned it as something of a lifestyle brand.

Within the past two years, 818 has launched a Christmas-themed Toffee and Tequila chocolate bar, created a merch line, released ceramic decanters of its $200 Eight Reserve extra añejo, and created the “818 Bricks Program” to turn post-production agave fibers into construction materials.

Combined with the hundreds of millions of Instagram followers who see 818 Tequila on their social media feeds daily, it’s easy to understand why Jenner is willing to gamble on international consumers.

Hopefully, 818’s journey around the globe will help pave the way for other tequila producers interested in expansion.

Read More:

Lawsuit Against Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila Comes to a Close; ‘Blatant Rip-Off’ Accusations Dismissed 

Thanks to The White Lotus, the Oft-Maligned Aperol Spritz Cocktail Is Seeing a Huge Resurgence 

Eva Longoria Calls Out Cultural Appropriation and Patriarchy Within the Celebrity Tequila Industry 

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.