Dwayne Johnson talks about introducing the fastest-growing tequila of all time

Teremana Tequila has announced a major milestone. Launched by Dwayne Johnson in early 2020, the ultra-premium brand has now broken the one-million-case-mark in annual sales—a total of 9 million liters worth of liquid. To put it in context: Of the hundreds of producers on the shelves today, only 10 tequila brands can sell as much. Among them is Casamigos, which famously sold to Diageo in 2016 for nearly a billion dollars. At the time, the Clooney co-founded company could only claim 120,000 cases a year in sales.

So, yeah, that’s a pretty big deal for The Rock…even by his own over-the-top standards. „The launch of Theremana Tequila has been an unprecedented and historic success in North America,” the superstar actor said in a written statement. „It has exceeded all our expectations and is accelerating towards its full potential at an extraordinary pace. Taste, quality and affordability are the keys to Theramana’s success.”

According to him, the brand has already been recognized in no less than 17 of the Best International Spirits Awards. Last year it won gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. His decision to partner with the Lopez family (one of the most established names in the tequila industry) to produce the liquid is clearly reaping dividends from a quality perspective.

In terms of size, it helps that Johnson’s is starting at a time when tequila growth is fast and furious. In fact, it currently holds the status of the fastest growing segment in the United States. Some industry projections have it overtaking vodka in the U.S. liquor category by the end of 2025. Much of that expansion has been in the super-premium segment, where Teremana sits at $30 a bottle.

Despite the historic start, Johnson has his sights set on something bigger. How is that possible? I sat down with him recently to get a sense of where he plans to go from here.

The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Launched during covid, how was it?

Dwayne Johnson: „We didn’t know how it was going to pan out. We started at the beginning of the pandemic. And then with consumer behavior…trying to offer something new when things were so uncertain at the time—everyone just wanted what they knew, and I understood that. But instead of putting the product on hold, we thought we had a shot here. Realized because we’re all going together.

Does having 328 million Instagram followers help with messaging?

DJ: „I have a very powerful social media tool, and I’ve built some trust equity with fans from all over the world. So, my thinking is, I’m going to drink and see what happens from there…”

A million cases occurred in annual sales.

DJ: „I’m very grateful for that. We wanted to create a brand and deliver it to people in the hope that people would love it. But I wanted to take my time to show my audience. Delivering a quality liquid was done the old fashioned way. You hear it all the time in marketing. But we took it a step further. We really showed what old school is: fully matured agave, slow cooking, lowering the temperature. We saw a white space in the market to come up with a quality liquid at an accessible price. I’ve told my team this over and over again, we don’t want to advertise, we don’t want to market, we have a relationship with people.

Clooney and his co-founders famously sold Casamikos for a huge payday. Is that what’s on the horizon for Teramana?

DJ: „I’m a long-term player with no exit strategies. My hope is that at launch—and now—it’s a legacy brand and I’m in it for the long haul, and I’m not looking for an exit strategy in five years. For my other friends in the tequila business—Kevin [Hart] And [Mark] Wahlberg—I know what they’re doing. And it’s hard to do. But they are in it for other reasons; They see an exit strategy, that’s their business model. I wish them well.”

What’s next for Theramana after this?

DJ: „I think we’ll continue to do what we’re doing here domestically. I think we’ll continue to promote the pioneering side of our business and make it as strong as we can. But at the same time run a parallel path to internationalize the Teremana Tequila brand. To create Teremana a trueA global tequila brand.”

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