More than a third of beer-drinking Americans admit they won’t purchase popular Mexican beer brand Corona in light of the ongoing coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, according to a recent survey by New York-based agency 5W Public Relations.
5WPR’s survey, which polled more than 730 imbibers via telephone between February 25 and 26, discovered that 38 percent of beer-drinking Americans now won’t buy Corona under any circumstances.
Additionally, 14 percent of those who reported drinking Corona regularly said they now won’t purchase Corona in a public venue.
Finally, 13 percent of beer drinking Americans admitted being confused regarding whether Corona beer is related to the deadly coronavirus that’s currently circling the globe.
Multiple media outlets have recently reported an uptick in online searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus.”
Market research firm YouGov in February reported that Corona beer’s buzz score—a net score based on whether U.S. adults have heard anything negative or positive about the brand—has fallen from 75 at the beginning of January to 51 as of late February.
“There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus,” said 5WPR Founder and CEO Ronn Torossian. “While the brand has claimed that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and the beer company, this is a disaster for the Corona brand. After all, what brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?”
The highly contagious coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, has since spread to more than forty other countries. More than 82,167 cases have been confirmed since February 27, including 2,801 deaths.
The virus has sent the stock market reeling and has decimated the U.S. tourism industry, with Oxford Economics’ global advisory firm Tourism Economics projecting the outbreak has resulted in a $10.3 billion loss to the U.S. tourism sector.
Corona is the highest-selling imported drink in the U.S. The pale lager is a property of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, itself a subsidiary of Leuven, Belgium-based brewing titan A-B InBev. A-B InBev also markets Anheuser-Busch, Beck's, Michelob, Stella Artois and Hoegaarden.