Grupo Modelo, the maker of Corona beer, is pausing all production after the Mexican government deemed it "non-essential," according to a report from Al Jazeera. The maker, which also produces Pacifico and Modelo, must end all non-essential tasks by April 30. The measure is to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus while the country is under a declared health emergency.
"We are in the process of lowering production at our plants to the bare minimum," the company said.
For the month of April, Mexico's federal government will only allow vital sectors like agribusiness to continue working.Grupo Modelo intends to finish the suspension of operations over the next few days. The company has plans to continue business by shifting 75 percent of its staff to work-from-home conditions. However, the government must first agree to it. If successful, the staff could continue to make and supply beer remotely.
According to the New York Post, alcohol sales in the U.S. have significantly increased during the novel coronavirus outbreak, rising by 55 percent during the week of March 21 alone. Overall, spirits have seen the biggest jump, with sales soaring 75 percent higher than this time last year. Though hard liquor like tequila and gin have been among the top consumer choices, beer and wine numbers are up, too, with sales for beer increasing by 42 percent. While liquor stores are considered essential in the U.S., online liquor sales have skyrocketed by 243 percent as well.
When the coronavirus first reached the U.S., Corona beer was certainly part of the conversation, as some Americans misconstrued the beverage with the virus. Later, a survey found that "38 percent of beer-drinking Americans would not buy Corona under any circumstances" after the initial outbreak, according to Inc.
Constellations Brands, which owns Corona, quickly responded to the misleading information and misunderstandings surrounding the virus and the brand of beer.
"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, the CEO of Constellation Brands.
Acting fast in response to the coronavirus-induced crisis surrounding the beer helped prevent any downward turn. The company was even able to claim that sales were up by 5 percent for the beer over a monthlong period. That bump was also very close to doubling a yearlong trend for Constellation Brands.
Considering Corona beer's place among many coronavirus jokes and memes online, it appears that the outbreak helped boost the product.