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U.S. beer-drinkers passing on Corona amid coronavirus outbreak, according to surveys

Patriot-News - 2/28/2020

The spread of the coronavirus is impacting sales of a popular beer brand.

Constellation Brands brews several variations of Corona, and according to CNN, the company said its customers “understand there is no link between the virus and our business.”

However, the coronavirus outbreak comes at bad time for Constellation, which recently launched a $40 million campaign for its line of Corona-branded hard seltzers. A recent tweet showed four cans of the hard seltzer on a beach with the words “Coming ashore soon."

The responses were anything but positive. “No one wants to hear from you right now, Corona,” wrote Tanuki.

“Saw an ad for 'corona hard seltzer’ and was briefly confused, thinking it was a new drink named after a new disease,” wrote Juliet Escoria.

Constellation has confirmed to several news sources it is not ending the ad campaign.

Many media sources have reported an uptick in searches for “corona beer virus” on Google spiking at the end of January.

And CNN reports at least two surveys this week show the Corona is taking a hit.

READ MORE: Preparing for coronavirus: Should I stockpile supplies? Buy masks?

In a survey of 357 adults, market research company YouGov found consumers’ intent to purchase Corona fell to its lowest level in two years. Meanwhile, the brand’s buzz score, a metric used to measure favorability, had slipped to 51, from 75 in January.

Also, 5W Public Relations conducted a study that found 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the outbreak, and another 14% said they wouldn’t order a Corona in public. The company polled 737 U.S. beer drinkers by phone.

“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?” said Ronn Torossian, Founder and CEO of 5WPR, in a statement.

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