Constellation owns the rights to Corona in the US

Constellation owns the rights to Corona in the US

Constellation Brands has found “encouraging signs of momentum” with on-trade sales of Corona Light draught in the US, despite weakness in the premium light category.

Corona Light draught launched in the US on-trade last year and was initially carried in only 0.5% of restaurants and bars, tracking firm Guestmetrics reported today (19 August). In Q2 this year, however, that number increased to 3%.

“We believe Constellation’s strategy of rolling out Corona Light draught is a logical one, given the relative out-performance of draught versus bottle in on-premise thus far in 2013,” Guestmetrics CEO Bill Pecoriello said.

The distribution growth is good news for the brand as rival premium light beers face struggles in the US. In first-half results released this month, MillerCoors, the US-based JV between Molson Coors and SABMiller, noted that its premium light beers are causing concern, while Anheuser-Busch InBev said its Bud Light brand was only propped up in H1 by growth for Bud Light extensions. A survey released last month claimed consumers are growing tired of premium light beers.

But in today's Guestmetric's survey, the firm said Corona Light draught is not taking significant sales away from bottles of Corona Light.

“Comparing the year-over-year gain in category share experienced by Corona Light draught versus the slight loss in share experienced by Corona Light bottle, the share gain outweighs the share loss by a factor of three,” the company said.

A-B InBev acquired the Corona brand as part of its US$20.1bn takeover of Grupo Modelo in June. Off the back of the deal, Constellation Brands took on the rights to all of Grupo Modelo's brands in the US.