“People expect one of the big guys to get in and roll up the craft business,” chief executive of Constellation Brands, Rob Sands said. “But it’s not clear that’s a good strategy.”
His words are directed towards the booming craft beer industry, whose presence has more than doubled since 2007, from 3.7% to 8%.
Constellation Brands has its hands in the market, primarily, with Corona Extra, which reportedly sold 100 million cases last year.
Also, despite a retail value of $14.3 billion, Sands believes that craft beer is an item defined by the local market in which it inhabits, “Although the craft beer industry is growing very rapidly, it’s a very local business,” he said. “It’s not clear that these brands can be expanded beyond their locale.”
Sands prefers the recognizable to the carefully crafted and says that the craft breweries located near Constellation headquarters make beer that no one has ever heard of outside the immediate area.
This is perhaps a blanket statement or underestimation, especially considering that Wegman’s markets on the border of New York and Pennsylvania feature microbrews from at least five states, including Colorado, and also microbrews from various countries around the world, exposing these brews to markets well outside the immediate proximity of the respective brewery.