Corona Beer Sales Plummeted

Corona beer bottles broken and spilled over the sidewalk
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Corona beer bottles broken and spilled over the sidewalk

It was a strange irony that one of the most unlikely victims of the coronavirus was a beer that shared the same name. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the United States, sales of Corona beer plummeted.

By the end of February 2020, as the number of coronavirus cases rose globally, Corona became a popular topic for memes and videos on social media. Despite having no connection to the virus, online searches for "corona beer virus" and "beer coronavirus" increased.

According to YouGov, Corona's buzz score, which measures whether American adults have heard positive or negative things about the brand, fell from 75 to 51 since the beginning of the year.


Corona is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands is the company that has exclusive perpetual brand license in the US to import, market and sell Corona. From February 21 to March 20, 2020, both companies' stock fell over 40% as investors feared, at least in part, that consumers would stop buying the beer brand that shared a name with the virus causing the pandemic.

5W Public Relations, one of the biggest independently-owned PR agencies in the United States, conducted a survey at the end of February, asking people about Corona beer. Some of their results:

  • 38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances
  • Among those who said they usually drink Corona, 4% said they would stop drinking Corona
  • 14% said they wouldn’t order Corona in a public venue
  • 16% of beer drinking Americans were confused about whether Corona beer was related to the coronavirus

There was a 12% decline in revenue in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, but surprisingly sales remained steady throughout the remainder of the year. Despite all of this, Corona remains the most valuable worldwide brand of beer, and the most popular beer in the United States.

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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