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Corona sales surge ahead in U.S. and abroad.

Corona beer sales surged ahead in 1992, firmly establishing the brand as the top export beer of Mexico and the number two import in the United States, according to a company spokesman.

Sales of more than 15 million cases in the United States by all brands of Grupo Modelo S.A., up 8.2 percent for all products over 1991, prompted the Wall Street Journal to proclaim that Corona is "bubbling back."

Sales of Corona Extra were up 7.3 percent in 1992 with a total of 12.8 million cases sold.

The year's gains represented a turnaround after several years of declining to flat numbers that followed the storied surge of Corona in the mid 1980s.

Brewery executives say the brand's market went through a period of adjustment over the last few years, returning to a solid foundation for steady, ongoing growth.

"The anomaly of 1987-88 distracted the industry from the underlying strength of the brand," said Modelo vice president Valentin Diez. "In 1992, Corona Extra's U.S. sales are up more than 2000 percent from our market entry in 1981. Overall, Modelo is now the world's 10th largest brewer," Diez said.

While Corona was delighted with the unexpected sales that pushed the brand to more than 21 million cases in 1987-88, Modelo maintained focus on a long-term strategy of steadily expanding markets, exacting quality control and introduction of additional export brands.

"Our emphasis was not on a shortsighted effort to maintain anomalous sales of Corona in the U.S. at any cost," Diez said.

"Instead, Grupo Modelo maintained its commitment to steadily build a high quality foundation for strong sales of all brands in all our markets for many years to come."

According to Mexico's National Association Brewers, in 1992 Grupo Modelo exported 69.28 percent of all Mexican beer sold in the world, up more than 18 percent 1991.

"Corona has become a global brand, reaching from Mexico City to Tokyo, Sidney, London and Tel Aviv," Diez said, adding that the beer is also the leading premium import brand in Canada. In the tough Japanese import market, Corona ranks second.

"Most importantly we are continuing our gains in the U.S -- which is the heart of our export business," he said.
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Mar 15, 1993
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