B&F acquired the franchise in September 1990 and had been so successful in promoting the brand here that Ireland now enjoys the highest per capita sales of Corona Extra in Europe and it’s now one of Ireland’s leading bottled beer brands, the Number One World Beer brand here and the Number Two bottled beer in the on-trade here. B&F went on to launch Corona Light in 2012 as a result.
Barry & Fitzwilliam spent a number of years building up Corona to make Ireland, at over 20.7 million bottles, Corona’s biggest-selling market outside Mexico and the US.
Corona Extra was originally owned by Grupo Modelo. When AB InBev completed its $20.1 billion purchase of this company in June 2013, the beer conglomerate acquired the rights to the Corona brand.
However since 2009 ABInBev has been under a contractual obligation to pass on any brands it acquires – with the exception of Budweiser – to C&C for Irish distribution. Under the 20-year agreement, all new brands acquired by AB Inbev must first be offered to C&C. As a result, C&C has taken over the distribution of the Corona brand as from 1st March.
With this acquisition C&C Gleeson plans a high-profile consumer launch for April followed by a significant marketing investment over the Summer months when the brand is traditionally in high demand.
Corona remains the top-selling Mexican beer and the Number Four best-selling beer globally with Ireland being its third most-important market.