Isaac Cohen

In this Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated in the United States starting September 15, there are some Hispanic products that have gained acceptance in the wider and more robust market of non-Hispanic consumers.

The Mexican beer Modelo Especial is a good example, because last May it became the top selling beer in the US market. According to figures quoted in The Wall Street Journal (09/21/23), in the four weeks ending September 9, Modelo Especial with 9.3 percent was first in beer sales in retail stores, while Bud Light, the previous top seller, reached 7 percent.

This is the result of a long ascent, which started in 1982 with the arrival of the first imports of Modelo to the United States, destined mainly to the Hispanic market. In 2013, the Mexican Grupo Modelo was acquired by the giant AB InBev. However, due to pressure from the US Department of Justice, the distribution rights in the US market were given to Constellation Brands. In 2015, Constellation started promoting sales of Modelo Especial in the non-Hispanic market, without neglecting Hispanic consumers, which still today account for 55 percent of all sales of Modelo.

This example illustrates how the process of attaining recognition in the wider market starts with a group of nostalgic consumers, obstinate immigrants dedicated to repeat consumption patterns from their countries of origin. These loyal consumers provide a base that expands gradually, with effective marketing dedicated to both old and new consumers.


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