Double Eagle Imports Ltd is a brand developer, marketer and federally licensed importer of alcoholic beverages. Founded in 2006, the Company imports and sells 16 distilled spirits including Arrogante tequila, Arrogante Damiana, Coffee and Almond liqueurs, Rudo and Tecnico tequilas, Puerto Angel organic rum and Bear Force vodka. Four new brands are currently being developed and will be introduced into commerce within next 18 months.
Our products are currently sold in 20 States. Among our trade partners are some of the largest spirits buyers in the USA such as Total Wine & More and ABC Fine Wine and Spirits.
DISTILLED SPIRITS INDUSTRY
Distilled spirits are beverage alcohol products that are first fermented and then distilled. As of 2014, distilled spirits constitute a $23.1 billion industry with an established growth trend. The market share of spirits, based on supplier gross revenues, grew to 35.2% in 2014, a significant 6.5% increase since the year of 2000.
What Drives the Growth?
The impressive growth of sales and revenues is propelled by two major trends: premiumization and growing consumer interest towards craft spirits and organic beverages that are produced and bottled by small, independently owned distilleries.
A. Premiumization – Buyers Are Reaching for a Top Shelf
The data provided by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), the national trade association of distilled spirits companies, demonstrate strong consumer preference for alcoholic beverages positioned in high-end (product that retails for $18 to $30 per 750 ml bottle) and super premium (product that retails for more than $30 per bottle) price categories. This preference, known as a “premiumization” trend, survives even periods of recession when upscale spirit brands still remain an “affordable luxury” desired by many consumers. This trend becomes even more notable in the times of economic recovery. DISCUS reports that in 2014 sale volume growth in high-end category was 5.8% and in super-premium 5.1%, while the sales in a value price segment (spirits retailing for less than $12 per bottle) actually decreased by 1.3%.
B. The Rise of Craft Spirits
Embraced by the US consumers, craft spirits (alcoholic beverages that are produced and bottled by the independent, small distilleries) feature artisanal production processes, innovative flavors and offer superb quality and compelling brand stories to customers who are willing to pay extra for this type of uplifting and satisfying brand experience.
DISCUS also notes a marked increase in consumption of craft spirits in America. In 2014, a total volume of craft spirits sold was 3.5 million 9-Liter cases, up from 700,000 cases in 2010, which equates to an impressive 500% increase in craft spirit sales.
The U.S. consumers are yearning for products that connect with them on an emotional and spiritual level, while still fulfilling a utilitarian need. These consumers understand and appreciate the artistry and hard work it takes to create these special products and rightly believe that by buying craft spirits, they support the artisans and their communities, not multinational liquor conglomerates.
C. The Growth of Organic
American consumers are increasingly embracing organic products in a wide range of categories. According to data collected by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), organic food and drink sales in the USA grew from $11.7 billion in 2004 to nearly $31.5 billion by the end of 2011. According to the new Thomson Reuters poll, a majority (58%) of American consumers prefer organic food to conventional food.
The OTA in its 2015 report states that today’s organic tent looks a lot different than yesterdays. It’s bigger, younger, and significantly more diverse than just a few years ago: 63% of respondents under age 35 choose organics whenever possible.
The increased popularity of organic food and beverages demonstrate that there is strong and ever increasing consumer interest in the benefits of organic food and farming. Organic production is a responsible way to grow produce and keeps our environment safe for future generations to enjoy.
According to Gallup poll results, 64% of the USA adults drink alcohol, which equates to approximately 100+ million potential customer base for the Company’s products.
Double Eagle Imports markets its distilled spirits to all adults who consume alcohol with a special focus on Millennials, high income and educated customers as well as female and multi-cultural consumers whose purchasing power is steadily increasing.
The Millennial generation is roughly defined as a group of 80 million people in the U.S. born between 1977 and 2000. Millennials make up 25% to 27% of the U.S. population and are responsible for 21% of consumer discretionary purchases in the U.S., estimated at over a trillion dollars of direct buying power. By 2021, Millennials will constitute 40% of the legal drinking age population in the USA and will be a dominant consumer force.
Distilled spirits have become intertwined with the Millennial culture. Nearly 30% of young adults claim spirits as their preferred alcohol category. This is compared to just 13% of young adults who said spirits were their favorite type of alcohol in the early 1990s.
In the most comprehensive study to date of the alcoholic beverage preferences of the U.S. Millennial generation, Nielsen finds that young adults frequently seek new tastes and are willing to pay a premium for alcoholic beverages. They see themselves as discerning buyers who value authenticity and craftsmanship, the qualities that are intrinsic to craft spirits.
Nielsen’s study shows that compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, Millennials are more inclined to consume spirits with their friends, in a bar or a nightclub and are the most enthusiastic age group in learning about spirits. The Nielsen study states: “As a group, Millennials are the most inclined to socialize and choose a more expensive drink than older consumers”. Nielsen found that Millennials perceive spirits to be “fun,” “modern” and “popular.” In fact, compared to the average American, Millennials spend 84% more on food away from home and 96% more on alcoholic beverages.
Millennials have embraced the craft alcohol movement and increasingly prefer craft spirit brands and organic beverages at the expense of big distributors. A new study from Mintel, a global research firm, examined this shift in taste and found that 51% of 25-34 year olds believe that “smaller producers make better quality products than their larger brethren.” And they’re twice as likely to care about whether or not their food is organic than are their non-millennial counterparts.
Changing U.S Demographics Presents an Excellent Opportunity for Our Brands
The U.S. consumer is changing and established brands may quickly become passé. A recent study by the National Restaurant Association suggests that the majority of American consumers (64%) are becoming more sophisticated and adventurous in their tastes, with Millennials being significantly more adventurous than others (77%).
These buyers are increasingly consuming craft spirits at the expense of mainstream brands, and many of them are innately distrustful of large manufacturers whom they associate with corporate greed. This is a critical change in the industry, as the Millennial age group will represent 40% of all drinking age adults in the U.S. by 2021. As more Millennials reach the drinking age and acquire greater financial stability, the challenges for many large, established brands will likely increase.
A structural change in the spirits market has already caused many major mainstream brands to struggle with pricing pressure and volume losses. In fact, more than 50% of the top 100 US spirits brands suffered volume declines in 2014. At the same time, the sales of craft brands and innovative new products are experiencing a meteoric 500% rise.
Consumers of all economic and educational strata have shown that they care deeply about what is put in their food, where it comes from and how it was produced. Their caring is demonstrated in the fact that they are willing to pay more for organic and small batch craft spirits brands.
The state of the distilled spirits market represents an excellent opportunity for the Company as it focuses exclusively on authentic craft spirits that offer consumers superb quality, fascinating brand stories, unique branding concepts combined with very competitive shelf prices.
With five products lines of craft spirits developed and placed in commerce, and with four more in development, we intent to fully capitalize on the growth and profit opportunities presented by the current state of the spirits market in the US and on the trends discussed above.
ARROGANTE TEQUILA AND NATURAL LIQUEURS
Arrogante product line is a winner of 6 Gold Medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Beverage Testing Institute and the Spirits of Mexico. Hailed by the industry experts as “instant classic in-the-making”, Arrogante is sold in all Total Wine & More stores throughout the country. Positioned in super-premium price category, an impeccable quality and elegant, upscale presentation of Arrogante tequila appeal to the most sophisticated consumers.
The product line includes Arrogante Blanco, Arrogante Reposado, Arrogante Anejo, Arrogante Supreme Anejo and three natural liqueurs – Damiana, Coffee and Almond. Arrogante tequilas retail for $31.99 to $39.99 depending on age expression and the state of distribution. The Arrogante liqueurs are priced at $24.99.
RUDO AND TECNICO TEQUILAS
Branding concept of Rudo and Tecnico tequilas is inspired by Lucha Libre, Mexican style of professional wrestling. Featuring Lucha Libre’s main heroes – wrestlers Rudo and Tecnico – the packaging for this product range was named as one of the six most beautiful tequila presentations by the Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Both Rudo and Tecnico tequilas are available in three age expressions – Blanco, Reposado and Anejo – and are sold in 750 ml (retailing for $24.99 to $29.99) and 375 ml ranges (retailing for $12.99 to $16.99).
Rudo and Tecnico tequilas won three Gold Medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Beverage Testing Institute and the Spirits Of Mexico as well as two “Best of the Best” Awards from Tequila.net, the largest community of tequila experts and aficionados. Rudo Reposado, a perennial consumer favorite, is rated 94 points by the Tasting Panel Magazine. Both product lines are sold in Total Wine & More stores across the nation.
CRAFT PROCESS – HONORING HERITAGE AND PASSION FOR QUALITY
All our tequilas are produced by using traditional methods that heavily rely on manual approaches that were developed and perfected by Mexican artisans over several hundreds of years.
Because these ancestral techniques are very labor-intensive and time-consuming, most of the commercial distilleries are turning to modern technologies that are designed to cut costs, increase output and speed up production. However, the craft of tequila does not tolerate haste and all these shortcuts sacrifice quality and taste to quantity and usually result in tequila with a harsh flavor and bitter aftertaste.
Our tequilas are crafted only from 100% Highlands Blue Agaves. Agave plants that are grown in the rich volcanic soil of Jalisco’s Highlands are bigger and richer in sugars, making Highlands tequilas sweeter, fruitier with floral and aromatic citrus notes.
Ripe agave hearts (piñas) are slowly baked at low temperatures for at least 36 hours in traditional stone ovens called “hornos”. Then, they are allowed to cool for another 24 to 36 hours. This unhurried method of “steaming” the agave prevents the sugar from caramelizing, which can add bitter, burnt flavors to the juice, and allows for development of delectable fruity aromas of baked agave. In contrast, commercial distilleries pressure-cook agaves in huge stainless steel autoclaves for 6 to 12 hours only while circulating sulfuric gases through the chamber to speed up the process.
Once our piñas are roasted to perfection, their juice is extracted and naturally fermented for 7 to 10 days with the help of the proprietary strain of yeast. Slow fermentation is essential in formation of complex bouquet of flavors and aromas in the final tequila. To speed up this process, commercial distilleries put urea and other chemical fertilizers in the juice, which allows them to ferment it in just several hours – another shortcut that sacrifices quality of tequila to increase in production outputs.
Fermented juice is double distilled in small batches in traditional alembic pot stills. Our tequilas are aged in bourbon barrels for a harmonious balance between subtle oaky undertones acquired from wood and robust earthy agave taste with hints of vanilla and herbs.
As a result, our tequilas are the winners of nine Gold Medals from the most authoritative international spirits competitions and are rated in the “Outstanding” category based on their excellent quality and sophisticated flavor profiles.
PUERTO ANGEL RUM – USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC
Puerto Angel rum is handcrafted from the freshly pressed and naturally fermented organic sugar cane juice at the artisanal distillery located in the Oaxaca Mountains, Mexico. Puerto Angel is one of the few types of rum that are honored with a USDA Organic certification.
Launched in the USA in July of 2015, both age expressions of Puerto Angel rum (Blanco and Amber) won Gold Medals and received “Exceptional” ratings from the Beverage Testing Institute. They were also honored by the “5 Star – Classic” rating and the “Highest Recommendation” from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.
Puerto Angel rum has generated a lot of interest among industry buyers. The brand is currently sold in ABC Fine Wine and Spirits in Florida and is carried by United Liquors in Massachusetts and by Mexcor Distributors in Texas. The suggested retail shelf price is $27.99 for Blanco and $29.99 for Amber.
Handcrafted in Rhum Agricole Style – A Rare, Sought-After Category
Puerto Angel rum is handcrafted from the freshly squeezed and naturally fermented organic sugar cane juice in the style of rhum agricole. While industrial rums are distilled from molasses (a by-product of sugar manufacturing process), rhum agricoles are made from fresh sugar cane juice. Sugar cane can be harvested for only 2 to 3 months out of the year and must be processed within 24 hours after the harvest, which necessitates the distillery to be located close to the plantation. As a result, rhum agricoles are more difficult to produce and are very rare (less than 2% of all rums available on the market today).
Rhum agricoles are historically produced in the French West Indies, i.e. the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, etc. Unlike other rhum agricoles, organic sugar cane used in the production of Puerto Angel rum grows up in the distillery-owned cane plantation that is located in the remote, ecologically pure area of the Oaxaca Mountains, Mexico, thus making this rum unique for this spirit segment.
Each step of Puerto Angel’s production process – from planting of the sugar cane and to the bottling – is based on manual labor propelled by the passion to the craft and dedication to quality.
Because our sugar cane grows on the steep mountain slopes, it has to be hand-harvested and taken down the mountain slopes on donkeys. Because cane juice oxidizes quickly, the harvested sugar cane is immediately taken to the distillery and the juice is extracted.
The freshly pressed cane juice is fermented with naturally occurring wild yeasts, a slow process that can take 7 to 12 days. The taste and aroma of rum develops during the fermentation and the unhurried, natural process produces a rich and complex flavor profile.
Fermented juice is double distilled in small copper pot stills and aged in American oak barrels sourced from Missouri. Blanco is aged for 6 months, while Amber stays in oak barrels for 3 years. Over this time, the interaction between rum and oak mellows the flavor of the alcohol, slightly changes its color from crystal clear to pale straw or golden and adds delicate vanilla and caramel notes without overpowering the earthy, rustic, herbaceous aroma of the cane-distilled rum.
Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of Double Eagle Imports. Beginning in 2006 with Arrogante tequila, our founding brand, we have successfully built a distinguished portfolio of internationally recognized, award-winning products in four major spirits categories: tequila, rum, vodka and liqueurs. Our craft spirits appeal to the most discerning consumers who value authenticity, craftsmanship and quality. Our products are currently sold in 20 States.
The Company, as a federally licensed importer of alcoholic beverages, generates revenues from the sale of its products to the network of licensed wholesale distributors. Currently, our main wholesale trade partners are Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, Mexcor Distributors, Prime Wine & Spirits, Grantham Distributors and United Liquors of Martignetti Companies.
The Company is in a profit generating stage and is actively expanding its distribution footprint and developing four new lines of craft spirits for a well-diversified portfolio of brands in the growing industry segments.
In 2013, our tequilas Arrogante, Rudo and Tecnico as well as Arrogante Damiana liqueur were accepted for nationwide sales by Total Wine & More premier retail chain.
Founded in 1991, Total Wine & More is one of the country’s largest independent retailers of fine wine and liquor that carries more than 8,000 different wines as well as more than 2,500 beers and 3,000 different spirits in various price ranges and categories.
Total Wine currently operates 115 superstores across 16 states and is adding 10 to 15 stores each year. Partnership with Total Wine & More has allowed the Company to extend the distribution footprint to the states of California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina. The chain’s expansion should allow the Company to increase the sales from its tequila portfolio by at least 15% to 20% annually.
In 2015, Puerto Angel Rum was accepted by ABC Fine Wine & Spirits retail chain. With approximately 150 locations across the state, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is one of the country’s largest wine and spirits retailers.
The partnership with ABC will allow the Company to capitalize on market growth in Florida where rum is one of the most popular distilled spirits. Puerto Angel rum was also accepted as a national brand by Total Wine & More and the sales have already started in the state of Texas.
By aligning itself with these premier retail chains, Double Eagle Imports is able to deliver its craft spirits to consumers in 20 States at competitive shelf prices. The Company also works with independent distributors that service bars, restaurants and liquor stores and will be significantly increasing its distribution footprint over next 18 months through the implementing of the new sales infrastructure.
AWARDS AND RATINGS
All the brands that we carry are honored by the Gold Medals, Best Buy Awards, “Exceptional”, “Outstanding” and “Classic” ratings from the most authoritative international tasting competitions and recognized industry experts, such as Anthony Dias Blue and F. Paul Pacult. The awards and high ratings propel the sales of our brands on the shelf with the consumers being reassured that they spend their hard earned cash on the product of exceptional quality.
For more information about Double Eagle Imports and how you can be a part of it, please request access to the Business Plan tab of this profile, and let’s talk!
Marina Wilson, President and Founder
Marina Wilson holds a PhD in Agricultural studies and a Master’s in Accounting and Audit. By maintaining strong relationships with foreign producers of distilled spirits, Marina Wilson has developed an extensive expertise in product acquisitions and contract negotiations.
Christopher Jiongo, Legal and Compliance
Coming from an in-depth background in commercial and financial law and business operations, Chris has worked for the SEC as Attorney-Advisor in the Division of Corporate Finance, Computers & Communications Section. He also worked as an associate General Counsel for Cellstar Corporation, a leading global provider of distribution and value-added logistics services to the wireless communications industry, with operations in Asia-Pacific, North America, Latin America and Europe.
Patrick Wilson, Logistics and Warehousing
Mr. Wilson attended North Carolina State University. He has an extensive background in finance, marketing, logistics, telecommunications and different manufacturing processes. He has been instrumental in developing and maintaining effective and economically efficient logistics and warehousing solutions.
Isidoro Peralta, Rum Segment
Mr. Peralta has an in-depth knowledge of artisanal production techniques that apply to the rum industry as well as organic manufacturing processes. He handles organic certification for the Company’s products. Mr. Peralta works closely with local producers in his region, and advises them on environmentally safe and sustainable production methods.
Alberto Navarro, Tequila Segment
Mr. Navarro is an expert in the tequila industry. He has been instrumental in development of the Company’s award winning line of tequilas. He is currently helping Double Eagle to develop a new line of tequilas that should be ready by the second quarter of 2016.