New health-conscious beer Corona Premier and its sister new brand Corona Familiar are off to a good start and look like they'll serve as positives for parent company Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) , Wells Fargo Securities analysts said Tuesday in a research note. The analysts also reiterated their "Outperform" rating and $270 price target on Constellation shares, which fell 5 cents to close at $221.77.
"So far, consumer/distributor/retailer reception to the two latest line extensions, Corona Familiar/Premier, has been very positive," Wells Fargo's analysts wrote in their note. "Both Corona Familiar and Premier are gaining momentum."
Constellation rolled out the two new brands in February. Corona Familiar is considered a fuller brew, and has long been sold in Mexico and some a few U.S. markets in large 32-ounce bottles designed to share with family and friends -- hence the name "Familiar." The company is aiming the brand (which will now be available in 12-ounce bottles) at major U.S. Hispanic markets, which Wells Fargo analysts wrote are "a key demographic that accounts for over 40% of STZ's sales."
Corona Premier is a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to STZ's flagship Corona Extra and Corona Light brands. It's aimed at health-conscious consumers and Millennials.
Wells Fargo wrote in its note that the new brands should extend Corona Extra and Corona Light's franchises and help maintain the Corona brand as America's No. 1 imported beer. The analysts added that the new brands' contribution apparently helped the Corona family's total sales rise a "robust" 13.1% in the seven days ending May 5. However, they cautioned that it's too early to tell if Corona Premier will have a "cannibalization impact" on Corona Light sales.
(This article has been updated with additional details about Corona Familiar.)