VICTOR, N.Y. — Coronavirus: Contagious disease or Mexican beer?
Constellation Brands, which owns the Corona brand, put out a news release Feb. 28 saying Corona sales remain strong, despite “unfounded concerns” about the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, affecting its business.
Corona Extra dollar sales were up 5% in the U.S. for the four-week period ending Feb. 16, according to Chicago-based research firm IRI.
“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,” said Bill Newlands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands. “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.”
Constellation Brands, Victor, N.Y., has seen no effect on its employees, facilities or operations, and sales of its beer brands are focused almost entirely on the U.S. market, with little exposure to international markets such as China, Newlands said.
At least two retailers, who did not want to be identified, told CSP that as of Feb. 28, their Corona sales did not seem to be affected by confusion between the beer brand and the coronavirus.
The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With more than 83,650 confirmed cases of the virus in 52 countries, resulting in more than 2,850 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, concern has intensified in the United States. The CDC has issued recommendations for U.S. businesses on how they can prepare for and minimize possible disruption due to the health threat.