Corona Expands Draft Opportunities

Light comes to 35 markets; Extra in test in three

Published in CSP Daily News

CHICAGO -- Growler fans and beer drinkers have reason to rejoice. The Corona family is putting Corona Extra on draft in test markets and rolling out Corona Light on tap nationally.

Corona Light draft will continue its momentum following successful roll outs in key markets in 2012-2013 by launching in more than 35 U.S. markets. Corona Light, the third-largest brand in the Crown portfolio, continues to outpace the premium-light category after a 2.9% sales increase in 2013 and a sales increase in 18 of the last 19 years.*

“By expanding Corona Light on draft nationally, we look forward to improving our overall draft business, which accounts for approximately 2% of our business,” said Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports, exclusive U.S. importer of Corona Light and Corona Extra. “With draft beer accounting for approximately 10% of the industry as a whole, we’re excited about the growth opportunity with both Corona Light and Corona Extra on draft.”

Corona Light draft will be ideal for a variety of occasions, appealing to light beer drinkers who want a more premium experience. In previous roll-out markets, the presence of Corona Light draft contributed to a brand trend that is 12% better than non-Corona Light draft markets.*

Corona Extra, introduced nearly 35 years ago in the U.S., has celebrated many exciting brand milestones – including becoming the number one imported beer and the number five beer overall.  Introducing Corona Extra on draft will be an historic moment for the brand.

Corona Extra draft will appeal to millennials and Hispanic consumers that have continued to identify with the iconic brand, according to the company. Crown Imports’ studies have shown that millennials tend to prefer beer on draft, making it important for the company to raise the brand’s presence in this channel. These studies also indicate that Hispanic consumers are looking for their favorite beer on draft, with 25% of them naming Corona Extra as their preferred beer.

Corona Light draft will be made available in more than 35 U.S. markets, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas beginning March 10. Corona Extra draft will be made available in three U.S. markets, also beginning March 10.

Chicago-based Crown Imports LLC, a division of Constellation Brands, imports, distributes and markets the Modelo portfolio and other fine beer brands across the entire U.S. The Modelo portfolio includes Corona Extra (the No. 1 imported beer in the United States and No. 5 beer overall), Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico and Victoria (select markets) beer brands. Crown also imports the Tsingtao beer brand in the U.S.

*Internal Crown depletions data, CYTD through Nov. 30, 2013