A comprehensive and certified operation from sowing to distribution is the cornerstone for Licores de Guatemala to endure as one of the companies exalting the name of the Central American country
Licores de Guatemala has exalted the name of its country internationally through the exportation of fine beverages of high quality and excellence in their production processes; its brands come to be a model which is earning more and more prestige with the passing of time. In its country of origin, its rums and “aguardientes” are already a part of the local tradition for the best occasions, serving in each sip more than 80 years of experience which is also present in more than 25 countries.
Besides extending its presence internationally, in 2013, Licores de Guatemala got the “Ron de Guatemala” Designation of Origin, thus affording status not only to the land and environment where the cane grows, but also to the quality of the materials in which it is stored and aged.
Later, in 2020, Industria Licorera Quezalteca won an award as Exports of the Year, which acknowledges the company’s quality, sustainability and competitiveness.
“Licores de Guatemala is currently at a very important point after five years of uninterrupted growth and a profitability of each of its production units”, pointed out Luis Ibáñez Guillén, General Manager at Licores de Guatemala.
International experience in the sector
Ibáñez is an industrial engineer and public accountant whose education took place in Peru. He also earned an MBA at ESAN (Spanish acronym for Business School for Graduates, in Peru) University Business School and is currently a doctor candidate at the University of Seville (Spain). The executive also completed specialization courses at the Marketing Society (London, England) and executive formation programs at the INCAE (Spanish acronym for Central American Business Administration Institute, in Costa Rica) Business School.
Its prime field of expertise is Business Strategy and Innovation in the trade front. Throughout 25 years he has worked in the alcoholic beverages industry in countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and, currently, Guatemala.
“My job is results-focused, I take part in all the business development aspects”, declared Ibáñez.
Operations with the support
of a complete structure
The operation of Licores de Guatemala has got the structure of an integrated chain: from the sugar cane plantations, the sugar mill where raw material is processed, distillery, aging centers, packaging factories, its own distribution system and contracted distribution through first-tier partners for the global presence of the product.
Moreover, the company has a division for imported liquors of different kinds, through which first-class brands are commercialized.
The operation is complemented with Casa del Ron, its own retail chain, which has different locations in the country.
Rich portfolio with well-positioned brands
Licores de Guatemala is formed by rum, “aguardiente” and gin brands, each one with its own personality, capable of reaching different market niches.
Ron XL: Beverage aged in oak casks for at least one year, distilled four times. Excellent selection for cocktails and a choice beverage for young adults. Available in pineapple/coconut, lemon/cucumber, berries, and apple flavors.
Ron Venado: This rum is offered in two different varieties, according to their alcohol content. It stands out due to its mixability.
Aguardiente Venado: A real tradition in the Guatemala central area, aged for a year and with tinges of intense flavor. A version with cinnamon scent and flavor was added recently to this brand.
Quezalteca: Flagship brand in the country, rooted to customs and flavors from Guatemala. Quezalteca is beyond social classes and age groups. Different flavors have been adapted to the Central American taste in different graduations, which allow for a democratic consumption among different groups.
Ron Botrán: Botrán rum varieties are recognized worldwide thanks to their raw honey-based production, obtained after the sugar cane’s first pressing, which is grown in the Retalhuleu region, in the South-West of Guatemala. Ron Colonial: Conceived up in one of the first cities to be founded in this continent, Antigua, Ron Colonial is produced from the maceration of plums, raisins and vanilla.
Ron Zacapa Centenario: Zacapa has been catalogued as the best rum in the world due to its production, from the soil type, climate and other natural elements combined in the region where its cane grows, its one of a kind distillation process and, specially, its aging at high altitude.
Xibal: This liquor is produced from Mesoamerican herbs which are characteristic from Central America, in perfect symbiosis with the gin traditional flavors.
RTDs and Hard Seltzers
As trendsetters in low-grade and low-calorie alcoholic beverages, the company created brands such as Cubata, VIP, OBIT, Mangiatto, Xibal and Kick, aimed for different occasions and different markets with flavor variety.
We are pleased to represent brands from top level wineries and companies such as Viña San Pedro, Casa Orendain, Tito’s, Pernod Ricard, E & J Gallo Winery, PradoRey, and Segura Viudas, which trust our commercial and brand development system.
“We are proud of producing rums which are really world-class”, commented the General Manager.
Innovation as a brand-creator boost
The capability of building up brands and innovating when affording them an evolution element was joined to Licores de Guatemala’s tradition of producing high-quality liquors for decades.
Currently, the company offers both the domestic and international markets an average of 25 innovations a year in the form of new products, new flavors, new brands and packaging.
“We have converted the company into a lean organization to respond to the faster and faster changes in the markets”, Ibáñez pointed out.
Among these innovations, we could highlight high quality products which can make a difference in the market, such as: Ron Botrán Creole Apple Fusion, Botrán Vintage Wine Cask, Botrán Guatemalan Oak, Cinnamon Flavored Venado, Zacapa Royal, Ron XL in different combinations with lemon, XL Sour Blast, XL Pineapple/Coconut, Xibal Gin & Tonic, Xibal Equinox; Blackberry Quezalteca, Guatemalan Mango, Pepita Orange, Pineapple, Hot Corn flour Drink; “ready to drink” (pre-mixed) Mangiatto, XL Kick and Quezalteca Chispuda, just to name a few.
Beyond alcohol as a beverage, COVID-19 pandemic took Licores de Guatemala to develop Alkoh, making an incursion the in medicinal alcohol market, thus contributing to fight the virus.
Company-owned retail outlets
In order to work as a complete operation, Licores de Guatemala manages its own retail channels, which have been modernized and reshaped through physical sales channels Casa del Ron, in different cities in the country, whose unique concept has been renovated.
After the transition to e-commerce on the part of the consumers, which was accelerated during the quarantines derived from the pandemic, the company has focused its efforts on developing its electronic commerce channel.
Each line of Licores de Guatemala’s suppliers is properly segmented according to each stage in the production and commercialization of beverages.
For the farming stage of the process, the company has got suppliers who can afford the best fertilizer and riper which not only fullfils the sowing and optimal development of the cane, but also are friendly to the environment and the soil quality for sowing. Another important partnership is the one with packaging material suppliers (both glass containers as well as lids and labelling).
An important task with companies which take part in key areas for the creation of formulae, such as flavoring, aromas and natural scents is also carried out.
The purpose of directing the company towards sustainable operations has resulted in important investments on behalf of Licores de Guatemala, accomplishing effective actions such as a reduction in the use of fossil fuels and the optimization towards clean processes, having received the ISCC Certification Plus (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) and verified the entirety of its production chain. This rank also guarantees the optimal management of the production chain’s resources, from plantations, mills, distilleries, aging and packaging centers to experience centers.
This way, the company guarantees the sustainability of Guatemalan rum, which keeps up to world standards not only for its quality, but also for its caretaking of the environment and respect of human rights.
The company earned the Neutral Carbon certification in May 2021 from SGS, thus fulfilling ISO Standard 14064:2006. This was achieved by eliminating its carbon footprint, without turning to the purchase of carbon footprint credits as other companies do, as it owned an inventory of more than 1,850M to achieve its own mitigation of greenhouse effect gases.
Towards the external part of the company, Licores de Guatemala created the “Tranquilo Camilo” campaign, which consists of enjoyable communications to promote the moderate consumption on behalf of consumers.
Fundación Licorera social work organization
Fundación por la Vida (Foundation for Life) was created in 1986. It changed its name to Fundación Licorera, which contributes to the complete development of the Guatemalan society focusing on three main points: life standards through nutrition, education and productive programs.
This organization has managed to have an impact on children and surrounding communities through two schools with about 1,000 students, and also more than 200 women through different trainings who seek to empower and improve their living standards. They also distributed about 12,620 bags with food in Jocotan, Chiquimula, known as the “Dry Corridor” in our country. In addition to this, our Ingenio Tulula office for relationships with communities has benefited more than 14,300 neighbors and 2,800 families from San Andrés Villa Seca, Retalhuleu, with health, communal infrastructure and human development projects.
Looking towards growth
The main goals for Licores de Guatemala are the consolidation of the growth experienced over the last years and make it sustainable with the passing of time.
After the positioning of its brands in Guatemala and Central America, Licores de Guatemala seeks to emerge in new markets beyond the organic growth.
“We keep an eye on new growth opportunities and we look toward the future with optimism”, concluded Luis Ibáñez Guillén, General Manager at Licores de Guatemala.