Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics Jan-Feb 2016

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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62 Beverage Dynamics • January/February 2016 including year-to-date this year, the Mexican imports have consistently out- paced all other imports." Mexican brands account for six out of the 10 top-selling imports; the other four brands come from four different countries. And fi ve of the Mexican six have grown in volume in the past year, compared with only one of the four non-Mexican top brands. Constellation Brands in Chicago is the dominant player, now dealing exclu- sively in Mexican brands. According to Jim Sabia, chief marketing offi cer in the company's beer division, "Our portfolio accounts for more than half the growth in the import category. If you think about the growth of imports, the seven brands in our portfolio are driving a lot of that growth." Number one brand Corona Extra continues four years of steady growth. Corona in cans opened a new market last year; Corona on draft opened on-premise possibilities. But Constella- tion's run-away success, boasting 22% growth, is Modelo Espe- cial, "obviously and arguably the hottest brand in the category," according to Wandel. The brand was supported with television advertising this year for the fi rst time. Corona Light, lagging behind its full-calorie sibling, will be promoted next year for both its Mexican qualities and its light character. "Corona Light continues to evolve our new plat- form of 'Light Cerveza,'" Sabia says. "We are a light beer, but we are a light cerveza, which gives us a little more of that Latino attitude." Negra Modelo, arguably the most "craft-like" of the Mexican imports (being a darker, more deeply fl avored beer), con- tinues its culinary partnership with Chef Rick Bayless, who offers recipes online for dishes to pair with the Vienna-style lager. Constellation does not hold the fi eld alone when it comes to Mexican brands. Heineken USA imports Dos Equis, which has ridden its meme-worthy ad cam- paign, "The Most Interesting Man in the World," to another year of double-digit growth. The campaign's urbane, bearded spokesman has advised an aspirational audience to "Stay thirsty, my friend" for ten years now, and shows no sign of los- ing his mystique. With a different approach, Tecate Light, now the number one beer in Mexico, is successfully reaching domestic audiences. "Tecate Light is outperforming the category with YTD growth of 45.3% [Nielsen]," Lasda says. "Unlike other brands in the light beer segment, Tecate is connecting with its target consumers—bicultural Mexi- can-American men—emotionally through digital and social campaigns that speak to their bold, independent and mascu- line character." Anheuser-Busch InBev, usually the leader in any story about large-volume brands, is a minor player in Mexican imports, despite having a large hand in Mexican breweries. LEADING IMPORTED BEER BRANDS, 2013-2014 (2.25-Gallon Case Cases) '13/'14 Brand Supplier Country 2013 2014 % Change Corona Extra Crown Imports Mexico 102,370 107,693 5.2% Modelo Especial Crown Imports Mexico 49,080 59,900 22.0% Heineken Heineken USA The Netherlands 53,240 52,548 -1.3% Dos Equis Heineken USA Mexico 22,490 25,998 15.6% Stella Artois AB InBev Belgium 20,900 22,800 9.1% Tecate Heineken USA Mexico 15,050 14,493 -3.7% Corona Light Crown Imports Mexico 13,860 14,345 3.5% Guinness Stout Diageo-Guinness Ireland/Canada 13,020 12,564 -3.5% Labatt Blue N.A. Breweries Canada 9,380 8,845 -5.7% Pacifico Crown Imports Mexico 6,230 6,616 6.2% Total Leading Brands 305,620 325,803 6.6% Others 74,220 74,367 0.2% Total Imports 379,840 400,170 5.4%

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