Crown Imports Looking to Continue 2012 Growth

For 2013, will offer new creative campaigns for all brands

CHICAGO -- Crown Imports LLC celebrated a year of strong growth, up 4.7% in 2012, it said in presenting its 2013 sales and marketing plans to its U.S. distributor network and select retailers at the Gold Network Summit, its recent annual meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.

Crown Imports is a joint venture that imports, distributes and markets the Modelo portfolio and other beer brands in the 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.

Flagship brand Corona Extra was up 2% and exceeded annual sales of 100 million cases. Modelo Especial broke the 40 million case mark, up 20.6%, and Pacifico was up 8.5%.

Bill Hackett, president of Crown Imports, commended distributors for exceeding the year-over-year sales performance of both the industry and the import category, and he emphasized his vision of building on Crown's 11 consecutive quarters of growth.

"The stability and long-term line of sight that our 2012 performance gives our business is exactly what we've worked so hard to achieve. And, very importantly, it provides a far clearer roadmap to guide us on our march to fulfill our vision--to capture 20% dollar share of the U.S. beer business," said Hackett.

Crown also highlighted its upcoming sales and marketing programming. It will offer new creative campaigns for all the Crown brands, including new Corona Extra "Find Your Beach" TV ads, new creative for Corona Light and new General and Hispanic market TV ads for Modelo Especial. Pacifico and Negra Modelo will see new TV creative in 2013, as well.

In other company news, Chicago-based Crown Imports said Corona Extra and Corona Light will compete against each other as the only two beer brand finalists in the Beverage-Alcohol category of the 45th annual Effie Awards. Winners of the North American Media Effie's will be announced and celebrated at the 2013 North American Effie Gala on May 22, 2013 in New York City.

The Effie Awards, which highlight effectiveness in marketing communications, recognized Corona Extra for the "Find Your Beach" campaign.

Competing in the same category is Corona Light, for its "A Refreshing Change of Beer" campaign.

"This recognition for both Corona Extra and Corona Light is a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of the inspired ideas that come from our marketing team," said Jim Sabia, chief marketing officer for Crown Imports. "It's tremendously exciting for both brands to be nominated as finalists, and it's certainly going to be fun to see this 'rivalry' play out at the Effie Awards ceremony."