Constellation Brands : advertising & marketing profile

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Constellation Brands is the world's leading premium wine company, and now also a major force in US beer as well as spirits. Long-established as a wine producer, the company expanded dramatically during the 1990s as a result of a string of acquisitions. Initially these were concentrated in the US, and included what was then Crown Imports, the beer distributor which turned Mexico's Corona Extra into the best-selling US import. Following its buyout from AB InBev in 2013, Constellation's beer division has become America's #3 brewer behind AB InBev and MillerCoors (see separate profile), and beer is now the group's biggest revenue stream. Other important past purchases have included America's Robert Mondavi wines in 2004, Vincor of Canada in 2006, and Clos du Bois and other US wines from Fortune Brands in 2007. A sortie into international markets wasn't quite so successful. The group acquired UK drinks distributor Matthew Clark in 1998, followed by Australia's foremost producer BRL Hardy in 2003. The subsequent slump in UK and Australian sales prompted the group to sell off a controlling stake in those units in 2010, to form what is now Accolade Wines. Constellation sold its remaining 20% stake in 2018. Constellation also controls a small but significant collection of premium spirits led by Svedka vodka.

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Constellation Brands website


Clos du Bois Alice White
Hardys Svedka
Paul Masson Arbor Mist
Robert Mondavi Ruffino
Cook's Champagne Ravenswood
Woodbridge Simi
Franciscan Estates Black Box

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th May 2018: Constellation Brands promoted Jim Sabia, who has been heading marketing for the beer division, to group EVP & CMO across both divisions of beer and spirits & wine.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: Solid growth from Corona Extra and other Mexican beers offset lower sales of wine and spirits for Constellation Brands in the year ended February. Group revenues rose 3% to a new high of almost $7.6bn, while tax reforms prompted a 53% jump in net income to $2.3bn. However the sale of the group's lower-priced Canadian wines during the year resulted in a 13% decline in total shipments and 6% in revenues from that division. That was offset by a rise of 9% in beer volumes and 10% in related revenues. Strongest growth came from the Modelo brand family, with depletion volumes up an extraordinary 18% to over 110m cases. Lead brand Corona Extra was up 8% to 145m cases.

Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Mar 2018: Constellation Brands is putting more pressure on America's traditional beers with a trio of unusual new offerings. It is already the only mainstream brewer registering steady growth in the US, as Corona Extra steals share from traditional leaders AB InBev and Miller Coors. Now it will extend Corona into the flavoured malt beverage category, with new variant Corona Refresca, aimed at female drinkers. It is also readying the launch of Western Standard, a super-premium beer finished in bourbon barrels, as well as another malt beverage under the umbrella of its Svedka vodka brand.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Beer and wine group Constellation Brands continued to post strong growth in an otherwise flat US market. Corona Extra remains the powerhouse of the business, with combined beer sales up by 10% to $2.6bn for the six months to August. In the final three months alone, beer volumes jumped by 20%. The wine and spirits portfolio - Robert Mondavi, Black Box, Svedka vodka and others - is also holding its own, with a 12% lift in volumes over the summer quarter. Combined net sales across all brands rose 7% to $4bn.

Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2017: US wine and beer group Constellation Brands was reported to have made an approach to acquire its spirits-centric rival Brown-Forman, owner of Jack Daniel's and other brands. A combination of the two companies would create a global giant with combined sales of around $11bn, overtaking Pernod-Ricard (with approx $10bn). However, Brown-Forman apparently rebuffed the offer saying it is not for sale. Most of the remaining potential takeover targets in the global drinks market are family controlled, making unsolicited acquisitions hard or even impossible to pull off.

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