It is All in the Name

April 16th, 2021

Corona Beer vs Coronavirus



Today’s blog is by Gayl Southard, Vice President of Administration for SafeSourcing.

A year ago, as the COVID 19 pandemic began to emerge, Corona Beer’s Brand name suddenly became very awkward.  The marketing executives responsible for selling Corona didn’t ignore reports.  John Alvarado, Senior VP for Brand Marketing at the beer division of Constellation Brands, Inc. stated, “By and large we were experiencing many of the same challenges as other marketers, but we had the added layer and pressure that this virus was using the name ‘corona.’”1 As the year ended, sales in stores have held up.  Sales for Corona Beer and hard seltzer made up 6.78% of the category through December 6, virtually unchanged from a year ago.  There was no evident negative impact on the brand.  The familiar brand and popularity helped to ride out a very tough year.  During the early stages of the pandemic, when people were shopping so infrequently, they relied on trusted beer brands rather than buying craft beers they had never tried.

“Corona’s favorability score among consumers 21 years old and up dipped this year, perhaps reflecting some confusion or association between the brand and the Coronavirus, according to Victoria Sakura, managing director of brand intelligence at Morning Consult.”2 It was determined that consumers did not relate the name of the beer with the virus.  Giving any attention publicly to the name was purposely avoided.

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1, 2 Nat Ives, WSJ, 12/22/2020

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