USA: Labatt USA Announces Sharp Increase in Tecate Beer Sales

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As Mexican-Americans prepare to commemorate Mexican Independence Day, specialty beer company Labatt USA is celebrating the dramatic sales growth of Tecate beer. Sales of the Mexican-brewed Tecate brand have increased (1)27.5 percent YTD in Labatt USA's 13-state Western Division.

Head-quartered in Foothill Ranch, Calif., Labatt USA's Western Division noted that Nielsen Grocery reports total California sales of Tecate are up 26 percent YTD, with San Francisco up 34 percent YTD and Sacramento up 80 percent YTD. In San Diego, Tecate beer sales have increased 103 percent YTD, achieving number one import status with Corona for the past four weeks. Outside California, Tecate growth is evident also with Portland sales up 66 percent YTD and Phoenix up 18 percent YTD.

Field Marketing Director for Labatt USA's Western Division, David van Wees says the increases can be attributed to several factors, including the cross-cultural phenomenon that has occurred as Mexican influences and products have become ingrained in everyday American life. "Five years ago, Mexican beers were still a novelty -- today they're a staple like chips and salsa," van Wees says. "Tecate in particular is emerging as the star brand in the Mexican beer industry with a reputation for being truly authentic. It's now the second most popular import beer in Southern California, surpassing Heineken."

Tecate beer, brewed since 1944 in Tecate, Mexico just south of the California border, is the number one selling beer in Northern Mexico. It originated the now-ubiquitous ritual of consuming Mexican beer with salt and lime in the U.S.

Van Wees says Tecate's growing strength in the Western U.S. is due to the product's authenticity and popularity in the Mexican-American community and among vacationers who travel to Mexico and experience Tecate on its home ground. "Often, an American's first impression of Tecate is acquired while on vacation and in a very positive environment," said van Wees. "When they return home, they try to recreate similar feelings by drinking the same beer they enjoyed while away."

Labatt USA expects this year's September 16th celebrations to further accelerate sales of its Mexican portfolio, which also includes Dos Equis, Sol, Bohemia and Carta Blanca. Mexican Independence Day is the biggest non-religious Mexican holiday of the year, commemorating Mexico's freedom from Spain in the 1800s. With retailers increasingly embracing this holiday, Labatt USA has developed cross promotions and special supermarket displays throughout the Western Division. A limited-edition 12-ounce Tecate can commemorating Mexican Independence Day will be sold in special promotional 12-paks. In addition, Tecate is a sponsor of the Mexican Consulate's holiday party in Los Angeles, which will include a festival and formal VIP dinner that will be televised live in Mexico.

Labatt USA Western Division is the western business unit of import specialty beer company Labatt USA, overseeing the sales and marketing of all company brands through more than 165 wholesalers. Labatt USA Western Division incorporates 13 states in the western U.S.,including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Labatt USA, based in Norwalk, Conn., imports and brews an array of specialty beers including Labatt Blue, Rolling Rock, Dos Equis, and Tecate. Labatt USA is a joint venture of Labatt Brewing Co. Ltd., Canada, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Interbrew S.A. of Belgium, and of FEMSA Cerveza S.A. de C.V. of Mexico, owner of Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma.

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