The Coronavirus or COVID-19 global pandemic caused a worldwide economic crisis, affecting some countries more than others.
But how was Corona beer affected by the pandemic?
Coincidently with the same name, has the virus boosted sales for the beer company, or left them scraping the bottom of the barrel?
So, let’s take a look at the numbers to see if and how the pandemic has affected Corona beer sales.
Has the Coronavirus affected sales of Corona beer?
Corona is owned by the world’s largest beer manufacturer Anheuser-Busch InBev.
The Mexican beer, Corona, was the world’s most valuable beer above both Heineken and Budweiser.
Corona beer has been the top-selling imported beer in the US since 1998.
However with its name associated with something so negative it wouldn’t be surprising if its sales changed.
Many thought its namesake would cause a fall in sales; however, this wasn’t the case globally.
There was a 12% decline in revenue in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, but surprisingly sales remained steady throughout the remainder of the year.
This meant that the beer still remains in first place on Brand Finance’s list of top beers!
How were sales affected at the start of the pandemic?
As of February 2020, Corona beer sales dropped in China.
AB InBev lost around $200 million USD due to the lack of sales when the pandemic began.
It is thought that the drop in sales was due to the reduced amount of activity and going outside.
Chinese New Year is an important time of year for alcohol sales and this was affected by coronavirus restrictions.
Fewer people were going to bars and restaurants, which accounts for a high percentage of Corona beer sales.
At this time many other beer brands experienced a similar decline in sales.
So it is assumed that the name association was not the reason for a drop in sales.
What was the cause of the change in sales then?
Although you might conclude that the name association was the catalyst for the fall in sales, it in fact wasn’t the main reason.
At the end of 2019, Corona became available on tap across the UK and many other countries.
This meant that sales of Corona beers in bars and restaurants boomed at the end of 2019.
When the pandemic hit, globally everything shut down, including bars and restaurants.
This meant that these sales were lost as most venues weren’t allowed to serve alcohol during the lockdowns.
Sales of Corona beer in supermarkets remained consistent throughout the year across the globe.
Only four percent of Corona beer drinkers said they would not drink the beer because of its name associated with the pandemic.
So the conclusion to draw from this is that although there was a drop in sales, it had very little to do with its namesake and more with restrictions.
How did both a beer and a virus end up with the same name?
The word Corona is used to describe a part of the body that resembles a crown or halo.
Corona means “crown” in Spanish.
Coronavirus obtained its name due to the shape of the virus itself.
When observed under a microscope the particles resemble a crown and this is how the name was given.
Both the virus and the beer have been named after their appearance or in the case of the beer its branding image of a crown.
This unfortunate link is more prominent within the English language as “corona” is not part of daily language… well, it wasn’t before 2020 at least.
This means that the link between the two is more likely to stand out to English speakers rather than Spanish.
How was branding affected by the Coronavirus?
At the start of 2020 when COVID-19 was immersing and spreading the globe, many memes were created with Corona beer branding.
People were using their “Photoshop skills” to edit and play around with the Corona beer logo.
Images such as Corona beer bottles shaped into the coronavirus appeared across the internet.
Although it started out as a joke, this was a catalyst in associating the beer with the virus.
Many saw this as a negative link; however, it was not enough to stop beer sales globally.
So although the parent company of Corona beer; AB InBev experienced a decline in revenue at the beginning of 2020, it wasn’t for expected reasons.
People didn’t stop buying the beer because of its negative name association with the Coronavirus.
The sales decreased because of accessibility.
The global pandemic caused many countries to enter lockdowns, which meant bars, restaurants, and pubs were closed.
Restrictions on activity meant that access to drinking or buying the beer declined, hence sales dropping.
At the end of 2020, Corona beer remains the most valuable beer in the world with a consistent sales rate.