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Understanding the motives of consumers of mezcal in Mexico

Carolina Andrea López-Rosas (Instituto de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Rurales, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Toluca, Mexico)
Angélica Espinoza-Ortega (Instituto de Ciencias Agropecuarias y Rurales, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Toluca, Mexico)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 12 July 2018

Issue publication date: 7 August 2018




The purpose of this paper is to characterize the consumers of mezcal in México based on their motivations, identifying different groups of consumers and their demographic characteristics.


A questionnaire based on the Food Choice Questionnaire was applied to 310 consumers: 154 directly to mezcal consumers in three “mezcalerías” (mezcal bars) and 156 through five social networking communities of mezcal consumers. The data obtained were analysed using multivariate statistics, factor and cluster analysis.


The results show that the search for tradition is the determining buying motivation, whereas quality seals do not exert a significant influence. Four profiles of mezcal consumers can be identified according to their consumption patterns: consumer linked to the territory, traditional consumer, consumer in transition and social consumer. The predominant demographic characteristics in the four consumer groups described a male, between 20 and 39 years old, single, childless, with professional education and employed. The overall results reveal a consumer who shares the quality criteria established by mescal-producing communities and is strongly interested in traditionally processed drinks.


In México, there are two important distilled drinks, tequila and mezcal. There is ample research on the first one, but there is less research on mezcal, despite it has an annual increase of 45 per cent in consumption. Most of the research work has been focused on aspects of diversity, sustainability and productivity, but there are not studies on the factors that affect mezcal consumption. Thus, this paper aims to characterize the consumers of mezcal, based on their motivations.



This work was undertaken thanks to funding by the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología – CONACYT) through Grant No. 220531CB-2013; and provided a postgraduate studies grant to Carolina Andrea López-Rosas.


López-Rosas, C.A. and Espinoza-Ortega, A. (2018), "Understanding the motives of consumers of mezcal in Mexico", British Food Journal, Vol. 120 No. 7, pp. 1643-1656.



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