Nearly two in five Americans are refusing to drink Corona beer because of the coronavirus outbreak, despite having no connection besides a similar name.
CNN reports a new survey conducted by 5W Public Relations found 38 percent of beer drinkers won’t buy Corona “under any circumstances” because of the virus that’s infected more than 83,000 people in 60 countries and killed nearly 3,000 people worldwide.
Another 14 percent of respondents who do drink Corona said they wouldn’t order one in public, according to the survey of 787 U.S. beer drinkers. That makes for awkward timing as the brand launches its new line of Corona Hard Seltzers.
“There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus,” Ronn Torossian, founder of public relations firm 5WPR, said in a statement. “Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying, ‘Hey, can I have a Corona?’ or ‘Pass me a Corona.’”
Again, there is no link between the coronavirus and Corona beverages, but The New York Post reports 16 percent of those surveyed still said they weren’t sure if the two were connected. Online searches for “corona beer virus” spiked in early February, according to CNN, but have since declined.
A representative for Corona, from its upstate New York-based parent company Constellation Brands, said sales have remained strong amid coronavirus concerns.
“There’s a lot of misinformation being shared across the media that doesn’t match consumer behavior,” Maggie Bowman, said in a statement. “By and large, our consumers understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our beer business.”
CNN reports Constellation Brands’ stock dropped 8 percent on Thursday, but the entire stock market has declined this week as the spreading virus threatens to derail the global economy.