Corona plans second hard seltzer launch this year, Constellation Brands CEO says

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After making a big splash with the launch of Corona Hard Seltzer last year, Constellation Brands, the parent company, is gearing up to roll out new flavors of the hard drink later this year, CEO Bill Newlands told CNBC’s Jim Cramer Thursday.

“It’s a great opportunity,” he said in a “Mad Money” interview following the release of the company’s third results of the 2021 fiscal year.

Constellation, whose portfolio includes Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Svedka Vodka, among other spirits and wine, released a line of Corona seltzers in spring 2020 backed by a $40 million marketing push to enter the beverage category, which is popular among millennials.

After the company sold 10 million cases of the seltzer last year, the company has plans to roll out what it’s calling “Variety Pack #2,” Newlands said.

“It’s a category that’s growing, and we’re going to take a significant share of it,” he said.

Constellation reported that the seltzer product is topping its volume expectations. Newlands says the company plans to more than double capacity in seltzers in the coming year.

The current variety pack that can be found on store shelves includes tropical lime, mango, cherry and blackberry lime. Newlands did not say what flavors could be included in the forthcoming launch.

Corona’s ad ‘Coming Ashore Soon.’
Corona

As a whole, the Corona Brand Family grew almost 12% in IRI market data, the company said.

Shares of Constellation Brands rose 2.3% on Thursday to close at a record $228.87. The company released its quarterly report before the market opened, topping Wall Street’s top- and bottom-line expectations.

Constellation reported $3.09 in adjusted earnings per share on $2.44 billion in revenue, which was up nearly 22% year over year for the quarter that ended in November. Earnings per share was up 44% from a year ago.

The company said it managed to offset the roughly 35% decline in on-premise, or restaurant and bar, sales due to the coronavirus pandemic with off-premise, or retail, sales in the beer business.

“We’ve got the brands that are in demand and one of the things that people do when they’re buying for home is they stick with things that they know and they stick with things that they trust, and we have brands that people trust,” Newlands said.

In 2020, shares of Constellation Brands grew more than 15%. The stock more than doubled from its pandemic lows in late March.

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