Sales increase for Corona beer in the US despite virus fears
A wide-spread survey suggested 38% of Americans were steering clear of the Mexican beer, but the sales charts tell a different story.
Last week, 5W Public Relations released a survey that found 38% of Americans were avoiding Corona, the Mexican beer brand. This survey caught the headlines, with everyone from CNN to FoodTribe's Rachael Hogg reporting on the findings.
But the fact is that it's not accurate. Corona has since released sales statistics that show a rise in sales over the past weeks.
Whilst sales might be down in China due to quarantines, they're actually up in the US. Constellation Brands, the parent company of Corona released new that sales are "up 5% in the US over the latest four-week period". This increase is twice as high as the company would have expected, demonstrating that people are not avoiding Corona beer – to the contrary: they're choosing it.
Bill Newlands, president and chief executive officer at Constellation Brands, made this comment:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible virus and we hope efforts to more fully contain it gain traction soon. It’s extremely unfortunate that recent misinformation about the impact of this virus on our business has been circulating in traditional and social media without further investigation or validation."
"These claims simply do not reflect our business performance and consumer sentiment, which includes feedback from our distributor and retailer partners across the country. We’ve seen no impact to our people, facilities or operations and our business continues to perform very well. Unlike many of our competitors, sales of our beer brands are focused almost entirely on the U.S. market."
"Our company does not have much exposure to international markets such as China that have been most impacted by this situation. I’m extremely proud of the efforts of our team. We’ve built good momentum as we gear up for the upcoming summer selling season.”
So it seems Corona beer is going strong, demonstrating two things:
- People aren't actually stupid enough to link the virus and the namesake beer
- There's no such thing as bad PR: the word 'corona' has been on everyone's minds for the past few weeks, and it seems this has subconsciously caused people to buy more Corona beer.
This was a strong move from the beer brand, and a step in fighting the increasing hysteria and misinformation surrounding the virus. The statement was perfectly emotionally calculated, expressing sympathy and condolences while facing misinformation head on.