Three years later, in 1986, Grupo Leon Jimenes acquired most of the shares of
the CND, and effectively consolidated their position in the Dominican beer
market. This move by Grupo Jimenes would come to define the current state of the
CND as the main beer distributor in the DR. |
Though the CND produces and distributes the Presidente line of beers, its
association with a variety of beverage partners, and a diversification of its
production portfolio has allowed for the CND to provide the Dominican public
with a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, though Presidente beer
is still the choice of most.
Currently the CND distributes seven other beverages in the Dominican Republic.
Along with Presidente Light, the CDN also distributes Smirnoff Ice, Lowenbrau,
Miller Light, Bohemia Especial, Heineken, Malta Morena, and an Ambar flavored
beer produced in the DR, and distributed under the same name.
Outside the Dominican Republic the Presidente brand of beer has gained high
esteem among beer drinkers. Since the early 1990s Presidente has been sold
outside the Dominican Republic, and since 1995 sales have increased at an annual
rate of 31.5%. Also, there are currently 59 international companies involved in
selling the Presidente brand of beer.
In 1990 Presidente beer was introduced to the United States, via the Miami
market, and in 1991 the company started sponsoring Merengue and Salsa events in
the Miami area. The success of this introduction would lead to the beer being
sold in 11 different markets in the United States.
In 1996 the product was introduced in New York and New Jersey, both areas with
large populations of Dominicans, and in 1999 the beer was introduced in Tampa,
Orlando and Pennsylvania.
By 2002 the beer was introduced to seven new markets in Maryland, Washington DC,
Virginia, Indiana, Georgia, Illinois and California, with an introduction into
the Bahamas that same year.
Aside from the Bahamas, Presidente can be found in other nine other Caribbean
nations. Puerto Rico, Haiti, the US Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos,
Curacao, Aruba, Tortola and St. Maarten.
More than just a beer product, Presidente has become linked to many events both
leisure and cultural, and has managed to carve out a role for itself as the beer
that defines nightlife in the Dominican Republic.
Presidente sponsors cultural events at the Music Competition at the National
Theater, Carnival celebrations across the country, The Cassandra Awards (Arts,
Entertainment, and Journalism award), The Latin Music Festival, The Winter
Baseball League, and the Athlete of the Year Award, amongst others.
Presidente has been challenged recently by the introduction of the Brahma Beer
brand into the beer market, but it has yet to make a dent into Presidente’s
popularity, and it seems that for at least the near future, it won’t make the
necessary impact on Dominicans.
Though some Dominicans may wander, and try new beers, either domestic or
imported, Presidente beer will still remain the premier beer of their choice.
Whether it is the taste of the beer, or the simple fact that the beer represents
a national icon for the demonstration of national pride, Presidente beer is
undoubtedly an important part of the Dominican cultural make-up.
In the DR, Presidente beer is one of those small examples that one can call on
to help understand, explain or define this culture, and it is through this
beverage that one can also piece together parts of this country’s history.
For Dominicans who live abroad, Presidente beer, like Brugal rum, is a small
symbol that makes Dominicans outside their country feel as if they still have a
connection to their homeland, their roots and their heritage.
Outside of their homeland Dominicans have been able to find comfort in having at
their disposal a representation of who they are, and something that they, along
with other Dominicans, can relate to.
Through participation in the arts, sports, music, leisure, and a commitment to
the community, Presidente beer and the CND have been able to define their role
in this country as more than just a beer producer. Their long history in the
Dominican Republic, their willingness to integrate their company in the
country’s overall development, and their ability to change with the times has
continued to make Presidente the beer of choice in the country, with no
foreseeable change to this in the near future.
And though holding an alcoholic beverage up to such a high esteem, as a
representation of identity, is beyond the norm, it is safe to say that
Dominicans admire the product as something that is particularly theirs.
Dominicans derive pride in the quality of the beer, which in turn reflects
quality in them as people, their customs and culture. It is this pride in
quality, which Dominicans are ultimately most proud of, and which they