Crown Imports' 'Banner Year'

Modelo Especial surpasses 40 million case annual milestone

Jim Sabia (left), Bruce Jacobson, Bill Hackett

CHICAGO -- For the first time in its history, Modelo Especial, the No. 3 imported beer in the United States, surpassed 40 million cases in depletions for the year, Crown Imports LLC said earlier this month.

"This is a remarkable achievement for the Modelo Especial brand, which is growing at more than 20% for the year and continues to grow at double-digits year over year," said Bill Hackett, president of Crown Imports, Modelo's exclusive U.S. importer.

"We are especially excited about the brand's overall performance due to growth in both the bottle and can packages. Bottles, which represent 30% of the brand's business, are posting significant growth trends with Modelo Especial 12-pack bottles up 29%, indicating continued discovery by General Market consumers in addition to the already strong Hispanic market sales," he said.

Crown executives Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer; Bruce Jacobson, executive vice president of national sales; and Bill Hackett, president, shared the news with employees and toasted the achievement at a recent company event.

In what the executives called a "banner year" for the premium Mexican beer, Modelo Especial was recently awarded the Leaders Choice "Beer Brand of the Year" Award by Market Watch magazine, as well as a Hot Brands award for the 18th consecutive year. Additionally, IMPACT magazine awarded Modelo Especial a Blue Chip Brand award.

Chicago-based Crown Imports is a joint venture that imports, distributes and markets the Modelo portfolio and other beer brands across the entire United States. The Modelo portfolio includes Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo, Pacifico and Victoria (in select markets) beer brands. Crown also imports the Tsingtao beer brand in the United States.