Corona beer sales are down because of coronavirus, says new survey

Constellation Brands’s Corona Extra and Pacifico beers are displayed for sale at a grocery store in New York on Jan. 8, 2013. (Bloomberg photo by Scott Eells)

Coronavirus, a recent flu-like disease spreading worldwide, has absolutely nothing to do with Corona beer.

Do we really need to say this out loud? Apparently we do, according to a new survey that claims a substantial number of Americans won’t buy the Mexican lager out of fear of the disease.

The survey, conducted by public relations firm 5WPR, polled 737 adults over 21 on their opinions of Corona beer and found 38% would not buy the beer “under any circumstances” following the coronavirus outbreak. Of those who regularly drink Corona, 14% said they wouldn’t order it at a public venue, while 4% said they’d stop drinking it altogether.

Beverage giant Constellation Brands, which brews and distributes Corona, said in a statement to CNN that its customers “understand there is no link between the virus and our business.” However, Google Trends shows a spike in searches for “corona beer virus” on Jan. 30 — the day the first U.S. case of person-to-person spread of the disease was reported.

Constellation Brands’ stock has also taken a hit, falling nearly 11% on Feb. 28 to $169.74 per share, in tandem with what CNBC called the worst week for the Dow since the financial crisis.

“There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus,” Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, said in a statement. (The company represents several beverage brands, including Soda Stream and Santa Margherita wines.)

Misconceptions about coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, China, aren’t just wreaking havoc on the beer maker. Chinese restaurants in Denver are also taking a hit, reports Denverite, with some estimating a 30% to 40% drop in business since news of the virus spread.

Coloradans are at a much greater risk of contracting the seasonal flu than the new coronavirus, according to medical experts, who are asking locals not to panic. Instead, they said, prepare for like you would a snowstorm — which some might say includes stocking the beer fridge.

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