Cheap oil a booze 'tail wind': Constellation CEO

Constellation: Beer & spirits grow, wine slower
Constellation: Beer & spirits grow, wine slow   

Many analysts have touted the economic boost lower oil prices can bring to consumers. The effect extends to booze, as well.

Lower gas prices have provided "tail winds" for alcohol sales, Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands said Thursday.

"We all expected to see a bit of an uptick given what's happened in the market, but in general lower oil prices obviously helps the consumer and they'll probably drink more beer, wine and spirits as a consequence of it," Sands told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Bottles of Corona beer are shown in Chicago.
Getty Images
Bottles of Corona beer are shown in Chicago.

Shares in the alcoholic beverage-maker rose more than 4 percent on Thursday after it raised its full-year earnings forecast on strong beer sales. Constellation cited demand for premium and import beers, which include its Corona and Modelo brands.

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Americans are spending leftover gas money, and Constellation has fallen in the "right place" in the beer industry as consumers favor import and craft beers, Sands said.

"There's a trend toward drinking more flavorful products in general which makes products like our Corona Light really popular versus the traditional light beers," he said.

Drinkers haven't flocked to all of Constellation's brands. Growth in the company's wine business has started to slow, Sands said.

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He added that pricing has remained "somewhat flat" as he hasn't seen any deflationary pressures in alcohol prices.