Corona beer suffers from the name similarity with coronavirus


Courtesy of Flickr (Giorgio Minguzzi)

Nicolas Dominique

In lieu of the recent health crisis regarding coronavirus, some consumers have decided to abstain from drinking Corona beer. The global health crisis is still underway and many businesses have started to close shop or work in limited capacity. Additionally, bars and restaurants have closed to patrons, with open businesses only offering delivery or take-out. Economists around the world all agree the coronavirus will slowdown economic growth for the foreseeable future. One such company that is beginning to feel the impact is Corona. Recent weeks have not boded well for the beer brand, according to reports from trends-data provider SEMrush. A CBS news article statement from SEMrush stated, “It has seen a spike in internet searches for corona beer virus and beer coronavirus.” The impacts have been more than economical.

In a survey done on 737 beer drinkers in America during the end of February, 38% said they wouldn’t purchase the drink under the current circumstances and 14% admitted they wouldn’t order it in public. While the CEO of the firm believes that consumers understand there is no logical linkage of the brand to the virus, it still draws negative connotations and comparisons. Its purchase intent score among adults in the United States has sharply dropped to the lowest in two years, according to data from YouGov Plc. — from a 75 to 51 in a span of a few weeks. Corona is the third most-imported beer in the United States, behind Guinness and Heineken, respectively. This can potentially increase the distance it has between its competitors as it is heavily reliant on the U.S. market, unlike the other two brands.

In the market during the first week of March, Corona’s parent company Constellation Brands Inc.’s market value has dropped significantly. This is most likely due to the massive equity selloff by investors around the world battling with risk, uncertainty, and bad news. There were also those who had to satisfy margin calls. Shares of the firm are currently trading down at $123.06 as of March 19. Year to date, the stock has lost around 35%. The market swings and gyrations came right off the heels of a great performance. Constellation said Corona Extra sales grew by 5% in the United States in the four weeks that ended on Feb. 16. That’s nearly double the trend of 2019 alone.

Right now, Constellation Brands has been criticized for misguided steps in a brand marketing and its social media activities. A recent tweet on Feb. 24 about a new products slogan “coming ashore” has seen much backlash. Many cited it as a bad public relations move and for the firm to remain silent over the coming weeks ahead. Despite this, Corona believes it can weather this storm. Constellation Brands spokesperson Stephanie McGuane told CNN Business that “sales of Corona remain very strong and we appreciate the continued support from our fans.” The brand believes consumer sentiment has not changed and that the current setback will not harm the firm in the long run. Only time will tell if this will be true.