Coronavirus fears spill over into Corona beer demand, survey shows

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Almost 40% of beer-drinking Americans admit they would not buy Corona beer under any circumstances due to the existence of coronavirus, according to a survey by public relations agency 5WPR.

Coronavirus is a respiratory illness that has infected more than 83,000 people in at least 53 countries. More than 2,800 people have died from the virus.

Scientists have been adamant that coronavirus has nothing to do with Corona the beer. The only connection the two have is in their name. The coronavirus is named after the Latin word for crown, referring to an exterior structure that features little crown-like spikes, while the beer is named for the Sun’s corona.

Even so, 5WPR’s survey 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

The results are based on a phone survey this week of 737 U.S. residents who considered themselves beer drinkers.

A different study by YouGov, an international research data and analytics group headquartered in London, found the virus could be confusing consumers.

YouGov data shows Purchase Intent for the brand is at the lowest it’s been in two years, but it acknowledges the summery beverage is closely associated with beach holidays and does see substantial seasonal fluctuation.

Purchase Intent is based on an average daily sample size of 2,110 US adults with an opinion of the Corona brand on a 4-week rolling average.

But Corona, the beer company, doesn’t seem to be concerned.

“We believe, by and large, that consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our business,” Maggie Bowman, the senior communications director at Constellation Brands, Corona’s producer, told Business Insider in February.

According to Google Trends, searches for “beer virus” and “Corona beer virus” peaked in January, but have been steadily declining since.

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