The production of Corona beer is temporarily being halted in Mexico because of the coronavirus crisis.
Grupo Modelo, the company that manufactures the beer, posted this shocking announcement on Twitter, saying that it’s stopping the production and marketing of its beer because the Mexican government has already decided to shut down non-essential businesses.
The Anheuser-Busch Inbev-owned company also produces Modelo and Pacifico beers.
Earlier this week, the Mexican government announced the suspension of non-essential activities in the public and private sectors until April 30 as a way to combat and slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Johns Hopkins reported that as of today, the country has more than 1,500 cases and 50 deaths.
Grupo Modelo, however, assured the public in their statement that they are ready to enact a plan to guarantee the supply of beer if the Mexican government suddenly decides to include breweries as essential.
In the United States, Constellation Brands (STZ) handles the distribution and import of Grupo Modelo’s beers. CEO Bill Newlands said in an earnings call that the brand has enough supply to meet its consumer demand and will not experience shortages in the near future.
Corona beer has been the subject of plenty of jokes since the coronavirus outbreak began, but according to the chief economist of the Brewers Association, Bart Watson, sales of the beer were actually on the rise as of late February.
The company also reported that Corona’s coincidental name with the virus hasn’t really affected its sales. As a matter of fact, Constellation said sales of its beer brands grew 8.9% for the first three months of this year, with Modelo and Corona being its top sellers. Moreover, the company said beer sales accelerated in the first three weeks of March with its beers growing 24% compared to a year ago.
According to a company earnings release, the new Corona Hard Seltzer, which is launched to the public market in early March, is also off to a strong start.
Beer and other alcohol are rising in sales this month as Americans are being forced to hunker down in light of the coronavirus. Sales numbers from Nielsen (NLSN) show beer sales rose 34% year-over-year for the week ending on March 21.