During the coronavirus pandemic, businesses across the world have been negatively impacted, having to suspend operations or close down permanently. The latest victim of the pandemic is Corona beer.
The Mexican government has declared a public health emergency and ordered all non-essential businesses to cease operations. As a result, Grupo Modelo, the beer’s brewers, will temporarily suspend brewing operations.
Grupo Modelo, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Inbev., said that it will be halting the beer’s production, as well as production for Model and Pacifico beers. According to a company statement, it is working with the Mexican government to be classified as an essential business.
The suspension will go into effect Sunday and is projected to last until April 30. The company said that it does not anticipate any short-term shortages of Corona beer.
“If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer,” according to the statement, which was translated by Reuters.
Corona’s brand has been mocked online as a result of the similarity between the names of the company and coronavirus. According to BeerandBrewing.com, Corona beer takes its name from its crown logo, inspired by the crown on the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the town of Puerto Vallarta. Coronaviruses are so named because the viruses are surrounded by a halo, or corona, when viewed under an electron microscope, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Viral social media posts indicated that Corona beer was suffering early during the coronavirus crisis. According to a survey by New York-based public relations firm 5W Public Relations, 38 percent of beer drinkers “would not buy Corona under any circumstances.” However, Constellation Brands, the Corona’s parent company, shot back that sales of the popular Mexican beer increased five percent over the previous four weeks when the survey was making its social media rounds.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that recent misinformation about the impact of this virus on our business has been circulating in traditional and social media without further investigation or validation. These claims simply do not reflect our business performance and consumer sentiment, which includes feedback from our distributor and retailer partners across the country,” Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’ve seen no impact to our people, facilities or operations and our business continues to perform very well. Unlike many of our competitors, sales of our beer brands are focused almost entirely on the U.S. market. Our company does not have much exposure to international markets such as China that have been most impacted by this situation. I’m extremely proud of the efforts of our team. We’ve built good momentum as we gear up for the upcoming summer selling season.”