No, Corona beer and coronavirus are not connected

You shouldn’t be afraid of drinking a Corona beer amid the latest coronavirus outbreak. 

Before it developed the name “COVID-19,” the virus was known simply as the novel coronavirus, part of a large family of coronaviruses that includes SARS and MERS. Its name has apparently caused confusion amid the American public, who have refrained from drinking Corona, a popular Mexican beer.

Of the 737 American beer drinkers surveyed by 5W Public Relations, 38 per cent of them said they would not buy a Corona under any circumstances.

Of the people who said they usually drink Corona, 14 per cent of them said they wouldn’t buy the beer in a public venue, while four per cent said they’ve stopped drinking it altogether. 

Sixteen per cent of those surveyed also admitted to being confused about whether the beer and the virus are at all related. 

"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 in a statement.

"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?"

The negative association has had an impact on its franchise. Corona’s brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev​, recently reported a loss of $226 million CAN in its last quarter, which is its steepest decline in at least a decade. 

Confusion about whether the two are related have been apparent since the virus caught the world’s attention at the start of 2020, with Google seeing a rise in searches for “corona,” “corona beer” and “corona beer virus”.