Who Owns Corona Beer? A Beer Enthusiast’s Insight

Corona beer is one of the most well known beers in the world. While it is enjoyed world wide, many people ask the question: “Who owns Corona beer?”

Corona Beer, officially known as Corona Extra, was first produced in 1925 by a brewery named Cervecería Modelo in Mexico. Its humble beginnings saw it brewing just 8 million bottles a year, a far cry from its current production. Over time, Corona became increasingly popular, first in Mexico, and then worldwide. It’s well-recognized as a quality Mexican beer that pairs well with a slice of lime for a refreshing experience.

Let’s take a look at the humble beginning’s of Corona, who owns and makes Corona beer today, and where the company has evolved under current ownership.

The Acquisition Story

For beer enthusiasts like us, it’s fascinating to delve into the corporate maneuvers and strategies that have shaped the beer industry. The story of Corona’s acquisition is particularly interesting.

A Brewing Giant: Grupo Modelo

Corona, an iconic Mexican beer brand, was originally brewed by Grupo Modelo, a brewery established in 1925 in Mexico City. For many years, Grupo Modelo operated independently, becoming one of the most prominent breweries in Mexico. The Corona brand itself gained global recognition, and by the 1990s, it had become one of the best-selling beers in the United States.

The Constellation Brands Takeover

The big turning point came in June 2013, when Belgian-Brazilian conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) successfully acquired Grupo Modelo. However, due to antitrust concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice, AB InBev had to divest itself of Grupo Modelo’s US operations.

This is where Constellation Brands, a leading beverage company, enters our story. Constellation Brands bought the US rights to Grupo Modelo’s brands, including Corona, for approximately $4.75 billion. This acquisition also included a state-of-the-art brewery in Nava (Piedras Negras), Mexico, and an exclusive perpetual brand license in the U.S. to import, market, and sell these brands.

Corona Beer Under Constellation Brands

The acquisition of Corona by Constellation Brands was a significant move in the beer industry, and it marked a new era for the iconic Mexican beer in the United States. This transition led to a surge in its market position and further expanded its footprint across the U.S.

Under Constellation Brands, Corona continued its legacy of being a top-selling import beer. Constellation’s effective marketing strategies have played a crucial role in Corona’s success. The company continued to build on Corona’s existing reputation as a ‘beach-in-a-bottle’ and further linked the brand to the concept of relaxation and vacation.

Expanding the Brand

In terms of product development, Constellation Brands showed its innovative capabilities by expanding the Corona product line. Beyond the classic Corona Extra and Corona Light, they introduced Corona Premier, a low-calorie beer targeting health-conscious consumers, and Corona Refresca, a premium spiked refresher targeting the flavor-driven segment of the market.

The company also capitalized on the hard seltzer trend with the launch of Corona Hard Seltzer in 2020, which quickly became one of the top-selling brands within the rapidly growing hard seltzer category.

Constellation Brands also made significant investments in production facilities to ensure the supply of Corona could meet its rising demand in the U.S. The company embarked on a massive expansion of its brewery in Nava, Mexico, to ensure production capacity could keep up with the growing U.S. market.

One of the challenges the brand faced under Constellation Brands was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a temporary halt in production in 2020 due to the Mexican government’s regulations. However, the brand’s strong position in the market helped it weather this storm, and sales quickly rebounded.

Under Constellation Brands, Corona continues to thrive, reaching new consumers and maintaining its position as a beloved brand synonymous with enjoyment and relaxation. The company’s marketing acumen and strategic innovation have ensured Corona’s enduring success on the U.S. beer landscape.

Impact on Corona’s Identity

Despite the ownership changes, Corona has retained its original identity and has continued to offer a unique beer experience that its drinkers have come to love.

Corona’s Unique Selling Propositions

Corona’s success is not merely a coincidence but the result of a powerful combination of unique selling propositions (USPs). Let’s uncover these distinctive features that set Corona apart in the competitive beer market.

1. Mexican Heritage:

One of Corona’s most prominent USPs is its Mexican heritage, which imbues the brand with a sense of authenticity and exoticism. The brand’s Mexican roots are strongly emphasized in its marketing, which often features beach scenes and a laid-back lifestyle that consumers associate with a Mexican vacation.

2. Distinctive Clear Bottle:

The clear bottle and lime ritual are signature elements of the Corona brand. While most beers use brown or green bottles, Corona’s clear bottle stands out, showcasing its appealing light golden color. This distinction is both visually appealing and cleverly reinforces its ‘beach-in-a-bottle’ image.

3. The Lime Ritual:

Corona has turned the act of placing a lime wedge in the bottle’s neck into an iconic ritual. The zesty lime flavor adds a refreshing twist, enhancing the overall beer-drinking experience, and this lime ritual has become synonymous with Corona. It’s not just about the taste – it’s about the experience and the interactive element that engages beer drinkers.

4. Premium Positioning:

Corona has successfully positioned itself as a premium imported beer brand. Despite its mass-market scale, Corona maintains an image of superior quality, which justifies a higher price point compared to domestic beer brands.

5. Consistent Branding:

Corona has been extremely consistent with its branding over the years, always associating itself with beach, sun, and relaxation. The consistent messaging across various marketing channels has helped reinforce its brand identity and recall.

6. Product Innovation:

Lastly, under Constellation Brands, Corona has shown a great deal of innovation, expanding its product portfolio to include low-calorie options and flavored beverages. This has allowed the brand to attract a wider demographic and stay relevant in an evolving market.

These unique selling propositions play a significant role in shaping Corona’s brand identity and contribute to its enduring appeal to consumers. The combination of Mexican authenticity, a distinctive beer-drinking ritual, consistent and clever branding, along with ongoing innovation make Corona a powerhouse in the global beer market.

A Global Leader: Corona’s Reputation

From its inception in Mexico, Corona has grown into a globally recognized beer brand, enjoyed by millions of people in more than 180 countries. It’s more than just a beer; it’s a cultural icon with an impressive reputation that few can match. Let’s dive deeper into the facets that make Corona a global leader in the beer industry.

1. Reputation for Quality:

Corona has a strong reputation for quality. Every bottle of Corona is brewed with the same commitment to quality and tradition that began with the very first batch in 1925. This commitment is demonstrated through the use of high-quality ingredients and a time-tested brewing process.

2. Strong Global Presence:

Corona’s reputation extends far beyond its Mexican homeland. It’s a truly global brand, the top-selling imported beer in the United States, and enjoyed in countries as diverse as Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Despite its international reach, Corona retains its uniquely Mexican identity, which forms a significant part of its global appeal.

3. The “Corona Experience”:

Corona has managed to cultivate a lifestyle around its product, known as the “Corona Experience.” This experience encompasses everything from the beach-inspired advertising campaigns to the lime ritual and even the bottle’s design. These elements work together to create a distinct and memorable experience that people around the world associate with Corona.

4. Versatile Brand Portfolio:

Corona’s reputation as a global leader has been bolstered by its versatile brand portfolio. The brand includes Corona Extra, Corona Light, and more recently, Corona Premier and Corona Refresca. Each of these offerings caters to a different taste preference while staying true to the brand’s core values of quality, authenticity, and the good life.

5. Environmental Stewardship:

As part of its commitment to the planet, Corona has undertaken several sustainability initiatives. These include partnerships for beach cleanup campaigns and a commitment to sustainable packaging solutions. This environmental stewardship enhances Corona’s reputation as a responsible brand that cares about its impact on the world.

6. Consistent Market Performance:

Over the years, Corona has consistently delivered strong performance in the market. Despite facing competition from other international and craft beers, Corona has maintained its position as a leading beer brand globally, which speaks volumes about its reputation.

Corona’s status as a global leader in the beer industry is a testament to its high-quality products, unique branding, and ability to create a distinct and engaging consumer experience. This reputation, built over nearly a century, continues to resonate with beer lovers around the world.

The Corona Brand Today

Today, the Corona brand is more than just a name. It’s a symbol of relaxation, the epitome of ‘la vida mas fina’ or ‘the fine life’. Here’s a glance at the Corona brand in the present day, exploring its position in the beer industry, ongoing marketing strategies, product diversification, and social responsibility initiatives.

1. Industry Position:

Corona continues to hold a robust position in the global beer industry. As one of the most popular import brands in numerous countries, including the United States, it holds a significant market share and continues to register strong sales despite various industry challenges.

2. Evolving Marketing Strategies:

Corona’s marketing strategy remains as vibrant and engaging as its iconic clear bottle. The brand continues to leverage its association with the beach and relaxation in its advertising, while also capitalizing on digital platforms to reach younger audiences. With memorable taglines and innovative campaigns, Corona keeps its brand image fresh and relevant.

3. Product Diversification:

Over the past few years, Corona has diversified its product range to cater to evolving consumer preferences. Alongside the classic Corona Extra, the brand now offers Corona Light, Corona Premier, and Corona Refresca, a tropical-flavored malt beverage. They’ve also stepped into the non-alcoholic sector with Corona Hard Seltzer, tapping into the booming demand for lighter, healthier alcoholic beverages.

4. Social Responsibility:

Today, Corona is deeply committed to social and environmental responsibility. The brand has undertaken numerous sustainability initiatives, like beach clean-up drives and investing in sustainable packaging. In 2020, they launched the ‘Protect Our Beaches’ campaign in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, emphasizing their commitment to a cleaner and healthier planet.

5. Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Corona demonstrated its resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the unfortunate association of its name with the virus, the brand managed to steer clear of negative connotations through sensitive and adaptable marketing. The brand even saw a surge in sales during the pandemic, underlining the strength and loyalty of its consumer base.

Current Market Performance

Today, Corona remains one of the best-selling beer brands globally, testament to its quality, consistency, and the successful stewardship of Constellation Brands.

Who Owns Corona Beer Conclusion

From its birth in Mexico to becoming a globally recognized brand, Corona’s journey has been remarkable. Today, it continues to be a favorite choice for beer enthusiasts around the world, including myself. Owned by Constellation Brands, Corona has proven that despite changing hands, a beer’s identity and quality can remain uncompromised.

Who Owns Corona Beer FAQ’s

1. Who owns Corona Beer now? Constellation Brands currently owns Corona Beer.

2. Is Corona Beer still made in Mexico? Yes, Corona is still brewed in Mexico and exported to countries all over the world.

3. Has the recipe for Corona changed over the years? The original Corona Extra recipe has remained largely unchanged.

4. Does Constellation Brands own other popular beer brands? Yes, apart from Corona, Constellation Brands also owns Modelo and Pacifico, among others.

5. Why is a lime often served with Corona? The lime is said to bring out the flavor of the beer, but it’s also a tradition and part of the Corona experience. However, it’s up to personal preference whether to include it or not.

beer your way

Michael Wilson

With over 15 years of experience in the beer industry, I love sharing both my own and other beer experts knowledge on everything beer related. I've always loved the fact that beer has brought cultures and people together for thousands of years and the tradition only continues to grow.

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