Mexico increased its beer exports to the United States by 11% in 2022

Mexico recorded an 11% increase in its beer exports to the United States in 2022 over 2021, to 5.394 billion dollars, according to statistics from the Department of Commerce (USDOC).

Among the companies that export the most from Mexico to the US market are Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI), Heineken and Constellations Brands.

The Treasury Department describes that beer sold in the United States is often segmented on the basis of price and perceived quality.

These segments -and their nomenclature- have evolved over time.

For example, ABI, with the largest beer sales in the United States, currently groups beer into five segments: value, core, core-plus, premium and super-premium (listed in increasing order of price and quality).

Beer exports

Beer brands in the value segment include ABI’s Busch Light and Molson Coors’ Keystone Light, and in the core segment, Molson Coors’ Miller Lite and ABI’s Bud Light and Budweiser.

The coreplus segment includes ABI’s Michelob Ultra brand. Beer brands in the premium segment include imported beers, such as Corona Extra and Heineken.

On the other hand, beer brands in the super-premium segment include other imported beers and many craft beers.

Although the value and core segments account for the majority of all beer sold in the United States, consumer preferences have shifted in recent years toward Mexican imports and craft beers, causing the premium and super-premium segments to grow in sales and gain market share.

This market trend toward the premium and super-premium segments has challenged ABI and Molson Coors, which have stronger positions in the value and core segments than in the premium and super-premium segments.

Brands and pricing

This market trend also increases the choices available to consumers, as brewers innovate more premium and super-premium brands to meet growing demand in those categories.

Beer consumers may «shift up» or «shift down» between segments in response to changes in price.

For example, as prices of mainstream brands (such as Bud Light) approach those of premium brands (such as Corona Extra), consumers are increasingly willing to switch from mainstream to premium brands.

Therefore, competition from brands in one segment (e.g., premium) can place a significant constraint on the ability of brewers to raise beer prices not only in that segment, but also in the other beer segments.

That is, to the extent that price differentials are reduced, competition from brands in other segments limits the ability of brewers to raise prices.

However, brewers with a broad portfolio of beer brands across segments, such as ABI and Molson Coors, seek to maintain «price gaps» between each beer segment to minimize inter-segment competition.

After recording $3.956 billion in 2019, Mexico’s beer exports to the United States were $4.154 billion in 2020 and $4.867 billion in 2021.


Redacción Opportimes