After a limited test run, Crown Imports, a division of Constellation Brands is making its Corona Light brand available on draft in bars and restaurants in an additional 35 U.S. markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas. The push is starting in March according to an article on CNBC, to enable the brand to boost its draft presence in advance of the Cinco de Mayo holiday and the crucial summer selling season.
Crown isn’t worried that the Corona Light draft option will hurt bottle sales on premise. Its test period showed a halo effect, which carried over from draft on-premise at bars and restaurants to off-premise stores. Consumers were sampling the product on draft, and then seeing it off-premise and making a purchase according to its chief marketing officer. What’s more, Crown’s business increases about 12% overall in the markets where it does have draft vs. markets where it does not.
Draft sales currently account for less than 2% of the Crown portfolio’s overall beer sales, vs. the industry average of 10%. In addition to Corona, Crown Imports includes the Modelo, Pacifico and Victoria brands, among others. Constellation Brands acquired Crown Imports last summer. The company expects Corona Light to become its biggest draft brand; that position is currently held by Pacifico.
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