Grupo Modelo Eyes Low-alcohol LoopholeBy Jan Hogewoning | Fri, 06/19/2020 - 14:37
Low-Alcohol Beverages, A Loophole in the Law?
Less than a month after having restarted production, Grupo Modelo is considering new alleyways to sell its beverages, Expansion reports. The group, owned by the world largest beer conglomerate AB Inbev, is starting a project to position low percentage alcoholic beverages on the same racks where normally non-alcoholic beverages such as water, fruitwater and juices are sold. The primary target vendor: taquerias and fondas. Establishments like these have to receive an official license to sell alcoholic beverages. However, low alcoholic beverages do not fall under this license. According to Expansion, article 217 of the General Health Law officially recognizes beverages as alcoholic if they contain an alcohol percentage between 2 and 55 percent. Beer can therefore be sold at establishments without a license, as long as the percentage is below 2.
On June 8, Expansion reported that the company is already working to integrate its Corona Light and Victoria 1.8 beer into its portfolio of products, both beers with an alcohol percentage of less than 2 percent. The goal is to make low percentage beverages 20 percent of the product portfolio by 2025. In a communication statement, the company indicated that “this would allow its product portfolio to be enjoyed at more diverse occasions.” Cassiano di Stefano, President of the company, stated: “Today, a unique segment is born in Mexico characterized by its low alcohol content, a historic fact for the two most important brands in the country.”
Drop in Beer Exports Against First Four Months of 2019
Using data collected by Banxico, GCMA indicated last week Wednesday that beer exports fell by 9.5 percent during the first four months of this year compared to the same period in 2019. However, the product still remains the most valuable agro export product, with a value generated during this period of US$64.7 million, Forbes Mexico reports. According to the Beer Institute, exports to the US fell by 28.5 percent. Export activities of Mexico’s biggest beer brewers, Grupo Modelo and Heineken Mexico, did not cease during the pandemic. However, due to the service sector shutdown, a significant portion of demand dried up and is still recovering slowly.