With cases of COVID-19 into the tens of thousands globally, the disease has continued to rake-in casualties. While most of its casualties are human, there has been another unique casualty – Corona Beer.
American consumers continue to linger with the question: Corona beer or coronavirus? While the answer is seemingly self-explanatory, Google search trends suggest otherwise. This unfortunate case of word similarity has consumers confused by the association between the coronavirus and corona beer.
As the toll from the virus rockets worldwide, Corona has become a subject in popular memes and videos on social media. This trend has had effects on Corona beer’s image – despite the fact that the third-biggest-selling beer brand (after Guinness and Heineken) has nothing to do with coronavirus.
How is Corona beer affected by the coronavirus COVID-19?
Here are several ways the virus has affected Corona beer, despite the only thing linking the two is the word corona:
1. Effects on purchase intent
Reports show that the beer brand has taken a strong hit. According to data from YouGov Plc, Corona’s Buzz score, which is a measure that tracks whether American consumers have heard positive or negative views about the brand, dropped to its lowest point in two years. Their score tumbled from position 75 at the beginning of January to position 51 in February.
2. Effects Corona beer’s share value
With the death and cases toll from coronavirus jumping higher, Corona beer’s image has been on the receiving end and the damage on this global beer brand has been severe in the past few days.
Reports indicate that this week’s shares in Constellation Brands Inc, the Corona Extra beer maker, plunged by 8% in New York.
3. A rise in negative search interest and brand contagion
According to SEMrush, a trends data provider there has been a consistent uptick in searches for “corona beer virus” and “beer coronavirus” over the past few weeks. Interest in “beer coronavirus” and “corona beer virus”, for instance, surged by 3,233 and 2300 percent, respectively.
This week, at 5WPR we conducted a survey via phone of 737 American beer drinkers over the age of 21 on February 25 & 26, 2020 and found that:
- 38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances now
- Among those who said they usually drink Corona, only 4% said they would stop drinking Corona, but 14% said they wouldn’t order Corona in a public venue
- 16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus
What brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.