Corona Brewery Forced Shut By Coronavirus

KIEV, UKRAINE - 2018/09/26: Detail of lined up Corona beer bottles seen on the store shelf. Corona extra Lager Beer is the flagship product of the Mexican company Grupo Modelo. (Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Corona brewer Grupo Modelo has confirmed it is temporarily suspending beer production, as the coronavirus outbreak moves through Mexico.

It comes as the Mexican government orders all nonessential businesses to close in a bid to halt the spread of the virus.

However, should the government decide the production of beer is an essential service, Grupo Modelo says it is ready to reopen and “execute a plan with more than 75 per cent of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer”.

Despite the production pause, there is a “ample supply to meet consumer demand”, according to Constellation Brands (which handles the distribution and import of Grupo Modelo’s beers in the US) CEO Bill Newlands.

Grupo Modelo, which is owned by the Anheuser-Busch Inbev, also makes Modelo and Pacifico beers.

The move to shut the Mexican brewery follows a tumultuous few months for the beer.

There has been constant confusion and mixed reporting on whether or not the coronavirus outbreak has impacted sales of the coincidentally named beverage.

A study conducted by 5W Public Relations earlier this year claimed a whopping 38 per cent of Americans would not purchase the beer as a result of the outbreak.

There were also reports Anheuser-Busch Inbev had taken a $260 million hit so far this year, with sales in tumbling as consumers continued to link the beer and the disease.

However, it was soon revealed by IRI Worldwide sales of Corona were actually up 3.1 per cent YOY.

And even with all of this going on, Corona has also attempted to launch a new product.

Corona Hard Seltzer was first revealed in later February, as anxiety around the virus was starting to build, with many describing the decision to launch as tone deaf.

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.


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