AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito has revealed that Australia is now one of the world’s biggest markets for Corona.
“Corona has been surprising us every time,” he told analysts last week. “It continues to be in the growth leader among our global brands, especially outside of Mexico.”
Brito called attention to the launch of mid-strength Corona Ligera in Australia, which he said “is off to a very good start supporting our efforts to achieve 20% of our beer volume in the no-and-low-alcohol space by 2025”.
“The Corona Ligera launch we did in Australia is a recognition that first Australia is one of the biggest markets we have for Corona. Corona has close to 6% share of total market. It’s an amazing brand and the mid-strength beers in Australia is a segment that’s growing and having a Corona 3.2 ABV is something that will get Corona in that space and appeal to consumers that are looking for that kind of ABV.”
Mid-strength beer category continues to grow steadily in Australia, with market data showing that it now accounts for more than 23% of the Australian beer market. While Queensland has traditionally been the mid-strength heartland, NSW alone has seen 14% growth in the mid-strength beer category (2016-2017).
Britos added “So [Liggera] was just a move to try to continue to expand Corona into new locations, trying to get that frequency up, and continue to build an amazing platform.
“If you look at Corona today, it has less than 1% share in most markets with only two exceptions. And Australia being one of them, Chile being another one. Canada, in a much lower level being another one.”
Earlier this year, Brito also noted that he felt the brand could reach even greater heights: “With the brand continuing to grow double-digits globally, it’s still very far from reaching its full potential.”
This week, Miguel Patricio, Chief Marketing Officer, told the audience at AB InBev’s annual Investor Seminar: “This brand is really expanding fast and growing everywhere. Two years ago, 36% of Corona’s revenue came from outside of Mexico. Last year, it surpassed 50% of total Corona revenue.”
Combined revenues of AB InBev’s three global brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, accelerated their growth in the latest quarter, up by 10.1% globally and by 16.7% outside of their home markets. In HY18, the combined revenues of our global brands grew by 9.1% and by 14.6% outside of their home markets.
Corona rides the wave
Patricio said a focus for the brand was on encouraging consumers to spend more time outside, disconnecting from daily pressures.
The message is particularly relevant in Australia, with its strong outdoor culture.