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Corona Beer Still Struggling With Confused Consumers Amid Coronavirus Fears

There is no link between COVID-19 and Corona beer, plus more news to start your day

Corona Extra beer bottles.
The maker of Corona Beer is in the midst of a $40 million marketing push for a Corona hard seltzer, unfortunately coinciding with a worldwide panic over the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Photo: Goran Jakus/Shutterstock

Please remember: there is no link between the novel coronavirus and Corona beer

Constellation Brands, the maker of Corona beer, has received backlash for a marketing push for its new Corona hard seltzer as the widespread effects of COVID-19, more commonly known as the novel coronavirus, sweep the globe and are likely to result in an outbreak in the U.S.

Social media users particularly took issue with a tweet from the brand, sent on February 24, that promises “one splashy entrance” for Corona hard seltzer, as well as a sponsored tweet that uses the phrase “coming ashore soon,” CNN reports. Critics of the marketing chastised Corona for “poor taste” and bad timing.

Corona’s brand seems to have suffered from the name’s likeness to “coronavirus.” Searches for “corona beer virus” spiked in January and are currently on the uptick again, as seen on Google Trends. A recent phone survey of 737 Americans (note: a fairly small sample size), conducted by 5W Public Relations, found that 38 percent of respondents said that “would not buy Corona under any circumstances now”; 4 percent of respondents who usually drink Corona said they would stop drinking; 16 percent of respondents “were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus.” And according to market research and data analytics company YouGov, buzz surrounding Corona beer has trended negative since COVID-19 started dominating the news cycle.

CNBC reports that Constellation Brands will continue with its Corona marketing campaign as planned. “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,” said a spokesperson. “While we empathize 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.”

And in other news…

  • McDonald’s answer to Wendy’s impending nationwide breakfast launch: free Egg McMuffins given away on the same day. [NRN]
  • DoorDash is moving towards a public offering. The food delivery service, which is valued at around $13 billion, reportedly confidentially filed for an IPO. [CNBC]
  • As a COVID-19 outbreak becomes likely in the U.S., how will gig-economy companies like Instacart and Postmates operate and respond? [The Atlantic]
  • One writer takes umbrage with Wawa’s fried chicken sandwich. [Philly Inquirer]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]