Five years after Constellation Brands added the Mexican brands Corona, Modelo Especial, Victoria and Pacífico to its portfolio, its beer market share in the United States has tripled. Now the company plans to invest up to US$ 600 million at its Mexican breweries during 2018 to keep its growth.
"Our market share was 4% and today it is 12%. We have tripled our presence, and the goal is to keep growing 1% on an annual basis," said Daniel Baima, director of Constellation Brands, at a press conference in Mexico City.
In 2013, the company bought from Grupo Modelo the rights to market these brands in the United States after antitrust regulators demanded this condition to approve the purchase of the Mexican brewer by AB InBev, in order to balance the competition.
Since then, the US firm undertook a ten-year investment plan with the intention of increasing production capacity in Mexico. "So far, we have invested more than US$ 4 billion and we will be adding somewhere between US$ 500 – US$ 600 million this year," said Baima.
The investments have been used in the acquisition of the Nava plant in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, where the company produces 10 million hectoliters per year and wants to reach 30 million by the end of this year; at the Ciudad Obregon plant, whose production is growing from 2.5 to 3.5 million hectoliters; and a joint additional investment of US$ 140 million with Owens Illinois for the expansion of the glass container plant.
"We also opened our Research Center in Nava, Coahuila, with US$ 20 million, and launched three new products: Corona familiar, a 32 oz bottle which already exists in Mexico, but we saw a niche in the United States; Victoria's spicy chelada, which is also doing very well; and Corona Premiere, which goes to an audience like women and athletes," explained Baima.
In January 2016, Constellations Brands announced the investment of US$ 1.5 billion to build a plant in Mexicali, Baja California, which will have a capacity for 10 million hectoliters by December 2019.
The construction has provoked protests with the argument that the operation of this plant will consume millions of liters of water in a region suffering from drought. However, the company ensures that the factory will not cause any shortage of water, because it will use its own well, so the project is still standing.