Sales of Corona beer have not been hurt by the coronavirus, despite speculation and a reported survey saying so, the head of its American distributor says.
Sales for the Corona beer line have outpaced their 52-week trend in the latest 4-week and 12-week periods, and “all business units supporting our beer business are seeing positive sales trends for the brand thus far this calendar year,” Bill Newlands, CEO of Constellation Brands, U.S. distributors of Corona, said in a statement.
Newlands was responding to media reports that Corona is suffering from mistaken association with the coronavirus. These reports apparently were touched off by a survey from 5W Public Relations stating that “38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances now.”
5WPR’s press release announcing the survey didn’t include any context or the exact wording of the survey questions. It was apparently taken on behalf of Anheuser-Busch, a 5WPR client that sold Constellation the distribution rights to Corona in 2013 and is now a competitor.
In a related and no doubt equally vexing issue for Constellation, it is coming under fire for an ad campaign for its hard seltzer product. The tagline for the Corona Hard Seltzer ads is “coming ashore soon” – which drew some criticism on Twitter for “bad timing” in the wake of the coronavirus reaching American soil.