VICTOR, N.Y. – Corona Premier will soon hit the shelves as Corona’s first new beer in more than a quarter century, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new brew will be in the light beer subcategory, which Constellation Brands—the brand’s U.S. distributor—says needs fresh options.
“You think about every single consumer-goods category that’s been trading up,” said Paul Hetterich, beer division president for Constellation. “What has been offered for light drinkers that has the attributes of light? Hardly anything.”
Corona Premier will clock in at 90 calories, about nine less than Corona Light. Jim Sabia, Constellation’s chief marketing officer, said Corona Premier will appeal to men older than 35 who down 54% of the nation’s light beers. The company will shell out $35 million to push Corona Premier.
Bud Light and Miller Light, the biggest two U.S. light beer brands, have been plummeting for years, but Michelob Ultra jumped 21% last year. Anheuser-Busch InBev is launching an organic version called Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.
The new light beers do fill a niche, but might also siphon off sales of existing offers, according to Harry Schuhmacher, editor and publisher of Beer Business Daily. For example, Corona Premier might infringe on Corona’s role as “a beach in a bottle” because of its aura of health. “You’re not thinking about going to the gym when you’re on the beach,” he pointed out. “There’s a little bit of a tug of war between the two.”