New YouGov data shows purchase intent for Corona beer is at the lowest it’s been in two years.
The news follows coronavirus fear going global, even though the illness has nothing to do with the adult beverage.
Corona’s Buzz score — a net score based on whether US adults have heard anything negative or positive about the brand — decreased among those who have an opinion of the brand, from a high score of 75 at the beginning of January to 51 as of late February.
Last month, Google Trends revealed a spike in searches for “Coronavirus beer”, “Corona virus beer” and “Corona beer virus”.
From January 18 to January 26, searches for “corona beer virus” jumped 2300% globally, according to Google Trends.
Searches for “beer virus” jumped 744% in the same period, and searches for “beer coronavirus” jumped 3233%.
Coronaviruses are named for the spikes that protrude from their membranes, which resemble the sun’s corona. They can infect both animals and people, and can cause illnesses of the respiratory tract, ranging from the common cold to dangerous conditions like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS.
Constellation Brands’ Corona beer derives its name from the Sun’s corona.
Independent PR agency 5W Public Relations has released findings of a survey that showed Americans are confused about the situation.
The results found that “16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus.”
5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian said: “There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus. Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying ‘Hey, can I have a Corona?’ or ‘Pass me a Corona.’ 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?”
However, a Corona spokeswoman told Ad Age: “There’s a lot of misinformation being shared across the media that doesn’t match consumer behavior. Corona sales continue to be strong.”
Constellation to continue with controversial promotion
Constellation Brands said it will continue with an ad for its new Corona Hard Seltzer, despite receiving backlash for a post it made on Twitter promising that new Corona hard seltzer flavours were “coming ashore soon.”
The post drew criticism from those claiming it was in poor taste or that it was “bad timing.”
“Our advertising with Corona is consistent with the campaign we have been running for the last 30 years and is based off strong consumer sentiment,” a spokeswoman said in an email to CNBC.
“While we empathise with those who have been impacted by this virus and continue to monitor the situation, our consumers, by and large, understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our business.”
The 5W Public Relations survey findings showed mixed results on the impact of Corona Seltzer to Corona.
Only 4% of regular Corona drinkers said they would stop drinking the brand, but 14% said they would not order it in a public venue, which polled 737 American beer drinkers this week.