Molson Coors to market Corona Extra

Molson Coors has vowed to provide “significant” marketing support for Corona Extra after agreeing a deal to distribute the brand in the UK.

The brewer, which owns the Carling brand, has agreed terms with Grupo Modelo to distribute Corona Extra in the UK and the Channel Islands from January 2011.

Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors, says Corona Extra, and the three other brands – Modelo Especial, Pacífico, and Negra Modelo – picked up as part of the deal are “great additions” to its brand portfolio.

“We are committed to providing significant marketing support behind these brands for the benefit of our beer drinkers, our partner Modelo and Molson Coors UK,” he says.

Molson Coors will be hoping to exploit the growing popularity of international beers in the UK.

According to Nielsen, world beer sales in the off-trade increased by 20% to £237m in the year to 10 July against flat sales for “everyday” lagers such as Foster’s and Carling.

In the on-trade, sales increased 3% to £795m against a 4% decline for everyday lagers.

Corona Extra is second to Peroni in on-trade volume sales in the category and the third biggest seller in on the off-trade, according to CGA and Nielsen respectively.

The Mexican beer will join the brewers’ existing world beer portfolio, which also includes Cobra, Singha and Grolsch.

Molson Coors will take over distribution duties from Wells & Young, bringing to an end a 15-year association.

Wells & Young revealed earlier this week that it has also lost the right to distribute Red Stripe in the UK.

Brand owner Diageo is in discussions to takeover distribution.