Beer in the Time of Corona

As the COVID-19 pandemic spread earlier this year, it was falsely reported that Corona beer sales were hit as people associated the brand with the deadly disease.

While that has been debunked, Corona did become the unfortunate punchline of jokes and memes because of its name. Bars around the world even tried to cash in by offering distasteful coronavirus-themed promotions on Corona beer, with some of them suffering backlash for their insensitivity.

What were the European F&B and consumer sentiments around Corona in Europe in the past few months though? We dived into our CPG data* to find out.

Looking back at 2019, Corona enjoyed stunning growth in year-on-year sales, with a sharper spike in summer compared to all other beer brands in our data set. In early 2020, Corona was still seeing healthy growth in sales before going into freefall following the mandated closure of the F&B sector. 

As online searches for terms like “coronavirus beer” surged in February, Corona’s shares also tumbled. While Corona’s sales did decline in March, so did all other beer brands. We did not see Corona being more negatively impacted than others. In fact, Nielsen released sales data in late March showing a surge in sales for Corona at retail stores. 

While these are extremely tough times that have battered the hospitality industry as well as brewers like ABInBev, we believe consumer sentiment around popular brands like Corona hasn’t shifted – which should stand them in good stead for better times to come.

About our data:
Suburbia partners with companies in the payments and retail industries to create data sets that track anonymized consumer purchases across Europe, delivering a daily view into some of the world’s biggest consumer brands. For insights on consumer packaged goods (CPG) trends, Suburbia’s data set covers sales in over 14,000 on-trade channels across six countries in Europe.

Leave a Reply