What the Potential Purchase Means For Us Everyday Beer Drinkers
It’s a takeover, with a twist.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is in talks with Grupo Modelo about purchasing the remaining 50% in the Mexican brewery that it doesn’t already own. Among the brands of Grupo Modelo is Corona, the brewer’s top export to the U.S. It also has Pacifico and the various Modelo beers (Especial, Negra and Light).
AB InBev is the world’s largest brewer, and became that when the Belgium-based company purchased Anheuser-Busch. This latest move is to counter Heineken’s 2010 purchase of Mexico’s largest brewer, Femsa.
AB InBev and Heineken are now engaging in what amounts to beer wars, a race to become the world’s dominant beer producer and distributor. The #2 beer company is SABiller, which had been the target of a possible merger by AB InBev.
And what does this mean for consumers? Like us everyday, normal beer drinkers?
Most likely, it could be cheaper beer! As the competition for customers heats up, there is often the slashing of prices to boost sales. Corona is priced and marketed as a premium import in the States, but the other brands would likely see the most price reductions (and personally, I prefer Pacifico by a long shot to Corona or Modelo).
Femsa brands include Dos Equis – tops in the U.S. with it’s aggressive “World’s Most Interesting Man” advertising campaign – and lesser brands Sol (a Corona counterpart; the price of this beer could drop significantly to grab market share), Bohemia, Carta Blanca and Tecate, which is already a lower-tiered beer.
There could also be some shuffling of Anheuser-Busch brands in the U.S., in order to keep anti-trust measures from coming to a head. Busch and Michelob could be sold; when InBev purchased A-B it was forced to sell Canadian Labatt. It’s hard to imagine, however, Anheuser-Busch without the Busch.
What may take a hit is A-B’s attempts to rival Corona with brands such as Bud Light Lime and Landshark Lager. Landshark, which is now the official beer of Jimmy Buffett concerts – once the territory of Corona – is a light lager ideal for the summertime with much more taste than Corona. certainly hope AB InBev continues to sell and promote it.
The biggest impact of the acquisition – if it takes place – would likely be in Mexico, which is the world’s sixth largest beer market and fourth most profitable. For Americans, this may result in a few less pesos per beer when running amok through places like Cabo San Lucas.