CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As fears of a possible outbreak of the deadly coronavirus have Americans worried, an unlikely product is being impacted: Corona beer.
The popular Mexican beer isn't related to the deadly virus, but a new report says the brand's reputation has decreased in recent weeks. A recent survey from New York-based PR firm 5WPR asked 737 beer-drinking Americans about the Corona brand and the results are surprising.
According to the survey, 38% of people said they won't buy Corona under any circumstances now. Americans who said they usually drink Corona weren't as impacted, with only 4% saying they'd stop drinking the popular Mexican beer, but 14% of those drinkers said they wouldn't order a Corona in a public venue. Another 16% of people surveyed were confused about whether Corona beer is related to the coronavirus.
The report said there has been an uptick in searches for "corona beer virus" and "beer coronavirus" over the past few weeks.
"There is no question that Corona beer is suffering because of the coronavirus. Could one imagine walking into a bar and saying "Hey, can I have a Corona?" or "Pass me A Corona," said Ronn Torossian, Founder and CEO of 5WPR. "While the brand has claimed that consumers understand there's no linkage between the virus and the beer company, this is a disaster for the Corona brand. After all, what brand wants to be linked to a virus which is killing people worldwide?"
Maggie Bowman, a spokeswoman for Corona, told USA TODAY their consumers "understand there's no linkage between the virus and our business," saying Corona sales continue to be "strong."
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