Constellation Brands produces and sells over 200 brands of beer, wine, and liquor, but most of the company's revenues come from its Wine business. Constellation Wines is the largest wine company worldwide, though that translates to less than 5% of the global wine business, given the industry's fragmentation. The company is also the US distributor of many well-known beer and spirits brands including Corona, St. Pauli Girl, and Black Velvet. The company earned $4.2 billion in revenue and $99 million in net income in 2010.
Constellation offers products in all major segments of the alcoholic beverage industry. Its primary market is North America, which accounts for around 72% of revenues, with Western Europe and Australasia making up the balance of revenues with 17% and 11% respectively.
Constellation Wines is the firm's biggest segment and the largest wine business in the world, markets wines across all price points, from popular to premium to super-premium, with the portfolio split about evenly between high-end and low-end brands. Constellation Wines owns 24 of the 100 bestselling brands in the US and 8 of the 20 bestselling brands in the UK. This business also includes the production of cider, where Constellation is the second largest domestic producer. Constellation Wines also sells unbranded wines wholesale in the UK. Finally, the Spirits business is the firm's smallest, accounting for only 7% of annual revenues. This segment sells both premium and value brands such as Black Velvet, Chi-Chi’s prepared cocktails, Barton, and Fleischmann’s. Recent acquisitions, such as last year's purchase of Svedka vodka, the fastest-growing premium vodka brand in the United States, have increased the company's premium offerings in all segments.
Crown Imports imports and markets various brands of foreign beers, most notably Corona. The company owns six of the top 25 imported beer brands in the US.
The largest players in the alcohol business are conglomerates that produce and compete in all areas of the business (wine, spirits, and beer). In the wine business, Constellation competes with many small wine producers like Willamette Valley Vineyards, as well as larger players like LVMH Moet Hennessy and Diageo. In the beer business, Constellation competes with Anheuser-Busch Companies, Molson Coors Brewing Company,SABMiller, and Diageo. Finally, a few competitors in the spirits sector include Diageo, LVMH Moet Hennessy L.V., Brown-Forman (BF) and Fortune Brands.
Constellation seeks to gain an advantage over competitors through its diversified structure, covering every segment of the alcoholic beverage industry. The company also distinguishes itself through strategic acquisitions (and their successful integration), which have accounted for over half of revenue growth the past few years. In wine specifically, Constellation has become the single largest distributor, which gives it advantages from various economies of scale. In a fragmented industry where no competitor holds more than 5% of the total market, Constellation Wines' size distinguishes it from smaller firms.