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Top 10 Import Brands, 2016: Mexican Beers Now 2/3 of Import Volume, 6 of Top 10 Import Brands

Strong growth of Mexican brands kicked imports into high gear last couple of years and truly taking over the segment. Read on for an excerpt on the growing import biz and the top 10 import brands, published in our flagship publication, beer marketer’s INSIGHTS.

Mexican Beers Grab 2/3 of Imports, 10.5 Share of Total US Biz, 6 of Top 10 Import Brands


Dramatic.  No other way to describe expansion of Mexican import biz in US. And 2016 growth especially striking.  Shipments from Mexico jumped 2.7 mil bbls, 14% in 2016, Beer Inst reports from Commerce Dept data.  Beer born in Mexico reached 22 mil bbls, 2/3 of imports, over 10 share of total US biz.  Over last decade, Mexican imports picked up 8 mil bbls, 57%, while total import gain was 4 mil bbls, 14%.  Total US biz down 750K bbls same period.  Back in ’06, Mexican shipments less than half of imports, just 6.6 share of US biz.  All in, imports gained 2.1 mil bbls, 7% in 2016 to 33.5 mil bbls.  Picked up nearly 1 full share of total US biz to 15.9, still about 5 share ahead of craft.  That’s up from imports’ 14 share in 2006. (Imports lost share of US biz 2007–13.)


Belgian shipments fell 10% in 2016.  Looks like AB InBev shipped some Stella made there thru Germany again (as happened several yrs ago).  But Belgian shipments up more than 3-fold since 2006.  Irish shipments strong in 2016 (+17%), and up 25% in 10 yrs.  Otherwise big declines in 2016 and 2006-2016 from several key source countries.  Tuffest hits: Dutch shipments down 2.5 mil bbls, 35% over 10 yrs (-6% in 2016); Canadian shipments shed 1.9 mil bbls, 56% over decade (-17% last yr).  Despite gain in 2016, German shipments also tanked long-term, as did UK shipments.  Gotta note some key brands once made in Canada, Germany and UK either now produced in US or just don’t sell much anymore.


Import biz a lot more concentrated than domestic biz.  Top 10 import brands represent 83 share of all imports.  They gained volume and share collectively in 2016.  Those brands up over 2 mil bbls, 8%, about a point ahead of import growth. Nine top-10 imports posted gains.  Compare that to domestic mkt.  Top 10 domestic brands collectively down 1 mil bbls, 1% in 2016, lost share and had about 60 share of domestic-only volume.  (Outside of Mich Ultra, drop was over 2 mil bbls.)  Eight top-10 domestic brands flat or down.



Top 10 Import Beer Brands by Volume, 2016

(based on beer marketer’s INSIGHTS estimates)

1. Corona Extra

2. Modelo Especial

3. Heineken

4. Stella Artois

5. Dos Equis

6. Corona Light

7. Guinness

8. Tecate

9. Labatt Blue

10. Pacifico

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 48
  • Issue #: 4
Read 1477 times Last modified on 02/24/2017