The world’s biggest beer brewer, Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), is reporting it will take a whopping $260 million hit to the bottom line after the global coronavirus destroyed sales of its famed Corona beer.
Apparently, people are still linking drinking the beer to catching the virus (also known as Covid-19).
Last month Google said that searches for Corona lager had increased by 1100 per cent with people looking for “beer virus” and “Corona beer virus”.
Belgian-based AB InBev brew some of the world’s biggest selling beer brands, including Corona, Budweiser and Stella Artois.
The brewer is now reporting its first quarter earnings will tumble by about 10 per cent, primarily due to the hit beer sales took during recent Chinese New Year celebrations. AB InBev’s shares are trading eight per cent lower.
In a statement, an AB InBev spokesperson said: “The impact of the Covid-19 virus outbreak on our business continues to evolve.
“The outbreak has led to a significant decline in demand in China in both on-premise and in-home channels. Additionally, demand during the Chinese New Year was lower than in previous years as it coincided with the beginning of this outbreak.”
Meanwhile, Corona in the US is in a bit of strife after an online ad for a new range of hard seltzers was deemed inappropriate given the current fears around the virus.
The awkward ad came with the line “coming ashore soon”.
However, Twitter users were none to happy about the tagline given the circumstances.
People called the ad “in extremely poor taste” and implored the company to “do better.”
“Shame on you for exploiting a real global health crisis. Next time we buy beer, it will NOT be Corona,” penned another.
Introducing Corona Hard Seltzer. Four delicious flavors. One splashy entrance. pic.twitter.com/XrPPr6nWrB
— Corona USA (@coronaextrausa) February 24, 2020
However, the brand was having none of the criticism. A spokesperson telling Business Insider: “Our advertising with Corona is consistent with the campaign we have been running for the last 30 years and is based off strong consumer sentiment.
“While we empathise with those who have been impacted by this virus and continue to monitor the situation, our consumers, by and large, understand there’s no linkage between the virus and our business.”
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